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Thread: I Need Confidence

  1. #1
    Senior Member KDK513's Avatar
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    I Need Confidence

    I could use a bit, of confidence, I mean. After much reflection I have concluded that I must become more involved and better informed about my husbands Family Business. Bottom line, my husband is the majority stock holder and President of this small family business, our livelihood. His twin brother came into the family business several years after my husband (25 years ago) Their responsibilities greatly differed, but three years ago after SCI entered our lives they were forced to change their roles in the company. Prior to SCI my husband was rarely in the office, he was out in the field growing this business, selling jobs and visiting jobsites that are no longer accessible to him (new and existing homes). His brother was responsible for inside sales and managed apartments that we own together in partnership.

    While we were in the acute phase of SCI everyone seemed to cope and adjust. We have been in the chronic phase for awhile now and everything is just that much more difficult. After three years we all seem to be feeling the same... OK this is how it is going to be! My husband can no longer perform as he did and his brother has been forced into a role that.... Ghheeeesss! Well he thinks He is superb at it! While I am grateful for his efforts, I am unwilling to accept the minimum wage he seems to believe is all we deserve!... and he the kings ransome , but he just wants to be honest about it! My spouse can no longer work the 60 or so hours a week he used to and simply cannot cope with any stress, not to mention what all these drugs are doing to his brain and capabilities. I digress! Shall we just say, everything is a BIT different! I would like to run away from this, but cannot. We revisit this nightmare each year at this time. It is all about money! Money, income, that I believe we deserve because my spouse developed this business, grew this business and continues to do so though he no longer works the hours he used to. Has anyone else been here before who can advise me? I am once again in unchartered waters.

    I do not believe I have an overinflated opinion about my own ability, but I am driven out of pure necessity and the need to protect my family. I am prepared to go into the office and declare myself available to help in any way possible. ( as everyone claims to be so overworked and underpaid) and hopefully quietly educate myself about this business and ultimately be productive in such a way as to protect my own and my families future. This is where I could use a vote of confidence. I am open to suggestions and any advice...please!

    [This message was edited by KDK513 on Dec 09, 2002 at 11:23 PM.]

    [This message was edited by KDK513 on Dec 09, 2002 at 11:26 PM.]

  2. #2
    KDK,

    A few thoughts - First off, how was the business set up? A partnership between the two brothers? Is there anything on paper? I'm not a legal person, maybe we can get some of our lawyers involved here - but if there's a legal partnership, it may be that your hubbie could appoint you 'proxie' in his behalf, so that you would have an equal share. Secondly, a good old-fashioned 'sit down and come to Jesus' talk might be in order with you, hubbie and brother, to hash things out.

    And thirdly, do you have the knowledge/skills to take this on? If not, and it's something you really want to do, take some courses - in bookeeping, sales, whatever, to show B-in-law you're serious.

    What you're doing is so admirable - I know, I know - but it does take a lot of guts to get out there and do it. Ask away as questions come up - our community background is so varied, I'm confident there's someone on the boards who can answer any question!

    One last thing - you mentioned all the meds hubbie is on; when was the last time you and he and his SCI doc reviewed them? It could possibly be that he doesn't need some of them, or they can be changed to other, less 'dopey' types of meds. Give us a list, and we'll take a look!

    Best of Luck with all this! Jackie

    _____________
    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  3. #3

    Family businesses

    God almighty-et tu, Brutus? If your husband is the majority stockholder, no one else says what he gets paid. He can issue dividends, maybe, or give himself a raise. Minority stockholders have, by definition, minority votes. Hopefully he hasn't signed or in any way lost legally too much of the power structure to his brother. If your husband had sold the business, there would have been, equated into the price, such things as goodwill and years invested in building it. His brother shouldn't waltz in and walk off with such intangible assets. Such costs are actually amortized over time in the stockholder's equity statement; i.e. they're real. Lawyers and accountants, chime in now-I'm neither. Watch him (the twin) closely. Quite possibly, I'm paranoid. Been reading the history of Mary Queen of Scots. Family can sure f*** you. Betheny Please excuse this (possibly slightly incorrect) rehash of the Accounting 101 course I endured 2 yrs. ago. It finally came in handy!

    [This message was edited by Betheny on Dec 08, 2002 at 07:35 PM.]

  4. #4
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    Just to list a few points that everyone else has covered (and I agree with).

    What is the legal arrangement?
    Communicate with your husband and his brother? Let them know the role you want to play?
    Educate yourself - it doesn't have to be formal education. Go to the library and get books out and read. Knowledge is power (if that isn't too corny)
    If your husband is the majority stockholder and President, he calls the shots!

    My only other suggestion is networking - business chambers, small business association etc.

    Go for it - Who dares wins!

    Andrew

    "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale blue moonlight?"

  5. #5
    Senior Member KDK513's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your informative and kindly supportive reponses. As soon as I posted I wanted to edit, but decided to be a bit reckless and let it go. I was mortified at how much I had revealed about our situation and at the same time was relieved. This caregiving business can be lonely and terribly complex as it involves such emotional energy. It can be so overwelming at times. It used to be my choice whether to pursue a new interest, now I feel as if I am forever reacting to new situations that are thrust upon me with absolutely no preparation. Each day is certainly an adventure.

    In all fairness to my brother in law I am always the suspicious one, when someone tells me how honest they are, can't help it. He has done a good job and the kings ransome was quite an exageration, though the minimum wage was not far off the mark considering our current expenses.

    My immediate goal is to prevent my spouse from taking a buyout as I do not beleive we can afford that. From my perspective it appears that with our current majority ownership we could better afford to hire people to work in the capcity my husband used to and keep our share of the business. We have tried to be respectful of family relations, but now I feel my own livelihood has been threatened and I must place the needs of my immediate family first. When I question the morality of all this I keep coming back to protecting my own family and all that we have worked for. It doesn't seem right to lose it all without trying to preserve and grow what was begun.

    Your suggestions have been so helpful. You have my sincere gratitude! Now I have much to do.
    Kath

  6. #6
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    family & friends never seem to work in business

    sounds to me like if the income is not good enough to pay everyone fairly you and your husband should consider selling out?

    sounds like the job has become more of a headache than the income is worth and maybe a new job or business would be a better option than trying to fight with relatives.

    maybe you should talk to an accountant just to get some idea of companies value.

    a good accountant should be able to set a fair price on your husbands work, years invested, customers etc. offer to sell to brother first if he wont buy sell it to anyone willing to buy.

    if his brother is not doing a great job and workers are complaining maybe its a good time to leave.

    you could get training work in the office, or maybe do whatever husband used to do but what are the chances of the business getting back on track? and would you & husband both enjoy it?

  7. #7
    Senior Member TD's Avatar
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    What does your husband say about this

    I think you should talk to your husband about how he feels the company is surviving. Once you have addressed the issue of the drugs he is taking (and pared them down to their minimum) take your husband to the office and have him go over the profit and loss statements during his absence. He was running a good company before his SCI and he should be able to tell if the company is surviving and whether or not it will continue to survive. Only then should you consider a "buyout" and if you decide to go that route obtain the services of a professional business broker. A business broker will give you a fair estimate of what the business is worth which will include something called "Goodwill". This can be done without telling anyone who he is or what is going on. The broker will most likely want an audit done of the books which will also expose any shenannigans that may be going on.

    Tell BIL you are considering putting the business on the market when the broker is finished and will take nothing less than what the broker says it is worth.

    "And so it begins."

  8. #8
    Senior Member KDK513's Avatar
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    We did talk, finally, at great length. We are going to consider the suggestions posted here, consult an attorny and financial advisor. He assures me that everything is fine, that it was a typical blow-up between them. I remain unconvinced. He does not wish me to worry and prefers that I continue to pursue my own seperate career. Right, how does one not worry? Thank you all once again - I think you are wonderful! Your continued support is much appreciated!

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