A much better roundup of useful sites for family owned businesses
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal features a smattering of websites for family-run businesses (click here for original article). Given that only three websites were featured, I wanted to expand on the list and share some of the best sites for family business owners and next generation leaders. Omitted here are sites of private advisors as well as many sites which require a paid membership to access the best and most informative features.
Family Business Town Square on Wiki – http://www.familybusinesswiki.ning.com/
This site was included by the WSJ article, but stopped short of really highlighting the best portion which is the Family Business Town Square (http://familybusinesswiki.ning.com/). With currently 231 members, this Linked In for Family Business includes both family business owners, advisors and thinkers alike. As a member (free) you can create a profile and connect with your peers. The Twon Square features an extensive selection of BLOG posts from many thought leaders, as well as regular video updates, various affinity groups and a global events calendar.
UMass Amherst Family Business Center – http://www.umass.edu/fambiz/
My colleague Ira Bryck is a true pioneer in in family business programming, consulting and innovation. His archive of articles alone is one of the single most valuable libraries of family business knowledge and ideas. Ask a question, listen to an interview or dwell on some “Ira-isms” like “Consider that old saying “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” In what way would your company benefit if you did get out of the way?”
Family Business Place – http://www.familybusinessplace.com/
This relatively new website is a valuable database of articles, interviews and stories related to succession, CSR and financial information. Registration is free and connects you with a growing network of your family business peers.
Understanding Family Business – http://www.family-business-experts.com/understanding-family-business.html
Billed as an e-zine, this is easily the largest treasure trove of free articles and tid-bits related to family business on the web. Even though it does not appear to have been updated lately and the e-newsletter now seems defunct (last one sent was January 2010), it is still a site worth visiting if you need some facts or research points.
Campden FB – http://www.campdenfb.com
A website for the Campden Family Business publication, you can register for free and access many articles and commentaries. Categories include Family Office, Governance, Lifestyle and Reader Surveys. A weekly newsletter is not pretty, but links to all the best articles.
DC Family Business Alliance – http://www.dcfamilybusiness.com
Though this is a regional group, the site does feature a robust selection of resources, links and some Family Business 101 tutorials on “Assessing Family Business Leadership,” Protecting the Family Unity” and “Strategic Planning: The Board of Directors.” The accompanying Linked In site (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2041570&trk=anet_ug_hm&goback=.gdr_1245366150776_1) is growing with many relevant discussions.
The Family Owned Business Network on Linked In – http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=2439055
This is the largest Family Business group on Linked In, with 282 members as of June 2010. Discussions are timely, relevant and open to all, and many contribute. I do wish some would limit their blog posts from Linked In groups and just ask questions or share observations.
FamBiz2FamBiz on Twitter – http://twitter.com/FamBiz2FamBiz
I maintain this Twitter account with the sole intention of finding as many family owned business on Twitter. Currently we are following 622 family owned businesses, with approximately 20 added each week. While not deep in content, if you are looking for which of your peers are on Twitter, start here.
Family businesses, educators and advisors using Social media – http://www.slideshare.net/dvdv/family-businesses-and-centers-using-social-media
I keep a running tab of family business people and organizations using social media. It’s a running tab so please suggest yourself or company if you feel you should be included as well. This is simply a PDF I’ve saved on SlideShare which is downloadable if you want a copy.