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Non-family businesses can learn a lot from family businesses, says Henry Hutcheson, a certified Family Business Advisor and founder of Family Business USA consultancy.

“Family businesses outperformed non-family businesses during the boom years leading up to the 2008 recession, and during the 2001 and 2008 recession years,” he says, citing a recent Harvard Business Review study.

Hutcheson, author of the new book, “Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business,” (http://dirtylittlesecretsoffamilybusiness.com), says family businesses were less likely to lay off workers during the lean times, and more likely to maintain their emphasis on socially responsible programs.
But that’s just the businesses that survived.

“Many closed their doors,” he notes.

With 25 years of business management and family business consulting experience, Hutcheson says he’s seen the patterns that can lead to major problems. And they’re almost always preventable.

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