family business

Very often, an insurance agency is a family-run business. For that matter, a lot of insurance carriers and general agents are also operated by people with the same last name or hyphenated last name. Whether the company is a “Mom and Pop” operation or a Fortune 500 stalwart, running a family business has its pitfalls as well as advantages.

According to some experts, family businesses out-performed non-family businesses during the pre-recession years of the new century. To those whose last name is on the sign out front, this may seem counterintuitive. But according to a Harvard Business Review study, it’s true.

Henry Hutcheson, a certified Family Business Advisor and founder of Family Business USA consultancy, said “the factor that enables family businesses to rise to the top is trust: Family members can potentially trust one another far more than non-family members. But trust can erode – when a family member can’t or won’t perform at the necessary level; when there’s a sense of entitlement; drug abuse; laziness. And that can have serious, business-killing consequences.” He added “if the business is professionalized, there will be a way to deal with those issues. But too often, safeguards are not in place.”

For the rest of the story, read the November issue of BIG Times Magazine at