How to Take Over a Family Business – 5 Steps to Get You Going in the Right Direction

So you have just been handed the golden scepter. You're at the helm of the family business and you are filled with ideas about how you're going to change things for the better. You suspect you might run into some challenges, but it's nothing you can not handle, right? I mean … you've managed people before. In fact, you've worked at some big companies and have taken over multiple departments of varying sizes. A family business? Should be a piece of cake!

Here are five "first steps" to get you going in the right direction:

1. Find out who's really the boss. Before your first day on the job, meet with the current owner and talk about their level of involvement in the business. Will they be on site every day or will they want a weekly / monthly update on progress? Lay out some guidelines for who will be making decisions about the business. Key areas to discuss are finances, employee hiring and discipline, and anything that is "off limits" for change.

2. Have a plan. Daily tasks can overwhelm any business owner and drown out the overall vision. Make sure you're vision is clearly identified in writing so you can easily reference it. Some people do this in a formal business plan and others simply journal in detail about where they are headed. Whatever your method, just make sure to have it. You will likely need to refer to it, adjust it, and possibly cling to it if the waves get choppy.

3. Get to know you're people – and let them get to know you. You're going to make some mistakes as you embark on this adventure, so let your team know that you're human and you're in it with them. When they succeed, everyone wins. Some new owners like to make an "all employee" speech and others simply integrate more gradually onto their team. Whatever your method, it's a great strategy to spend some time working alongside each one of your key employees. They will feel like you understand their contribution and struggles on the job, and you will have a better appreciation for what they do. While you're chatting, ask your employee what they see as the biggest opportunity for the business. I also ask "if you could change one thing about your job / this company, what would it be?". If you can change it for them, and it makes sense for the company, do it. They will never forget it.

4. Find a business mentor outside your family and friend circle. When your sister does not show up for work, and you learn your nephew is skimming money from the cash drawer, you will need a level headed person to keep you on course, not just take your side. Find someone you respect who has run a profitable family business for at least 10 years and has kept a good relationship with their family and employees.

5. Celebrate success. Remember that vision you …

Business To Business Marketing: An Introduction

Many people often use the term 'business to business (B2B) marketing,' but most of them do not know exactly what it refers to. B2B activity, both online and offline, involves the marketing of services and goods that help other companies operate. Manufacturers, resellers, the government and non-profit institutions are the most common examples of B2B markets.

Business to business marketing associates with five distinct concepts – the exchange concept of marketing, the turn of production concept, the product concept, the phenomenon of marketing myopia and the sales concept.

Converting prospects into customers is an important objective of B2B marketing. A few B2B companies do make some money off a customer base. But most of their capital is made off other businesses. A non-profit institution is a good example. Its operations normally depend on private donors from individuals. The organization also makes the great mass of its money through government funding or from corporations. Due to this reason, a non-profit institution makes itself and its services or products attractive not just to the public, but also to other entrepreneurs.

A business to business marketing company normally focuses on relationship building and communication through marketing activities, producing leads that are fostered during the sales cycle. The decision to purchase is typically a multi-step process that involves more than one person. Therefore, companies use marketing strategies to teach various players in the target group. Components, equipment, raw materials, processing services and supplies are marketed. Since B2B marketers target only other businesses, they have significantly more targeted markets than B2C marketers.

B2B marketing is now one of the fastest developing fields of marketing. New technologies bring more businesses together; thereby companies start to court each other far more sharply. Technology also makes the world a smaller place. So it becomes essential for sales and marketing experts to understand and apply the principles of B2B marketing. …