Glossary of Professional Resources for Family Business Owners

PDF Download: “Work Better Together: 10 Best Practices For Your Family Business Success”

This list of best practices requires a business owner to step back and work on their business, not just in it. That’s hard to do, most of us already have a full slate just keeping up.

Addiction Intervention Counselor

An addiction intervention counselor plays a crucial role in assisting individuals and their families in confronting and addressing addiction-related issues. These professionals are trained to facilitate interventions, which are structured conversations aimed at motivating individuals with substance abuse problems to seek help. The counselor acts as a guide and mediator during the intervention process, helping family members and loved ones express their concerns, set boundaries, and provide support in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner. They educate the participants about addiction, its impact on the individual’s life and relationships, and the available treatment options. They can also collaborate with other healthcare providers and treatment facilities to develop personalized recovery plans and ensure a smooth transition into treatment.  Additionally, they offer ongoing support and guidance to individuals and families throughout the recovery process. They provide counseling and therapy sessions to address the emotional and psychological aspects of addiction, helping individuals develop coping strategies and relapse prevention techniques.

Asset Valuation Expert

An asset valuation expert plays a crucial role in the financial industry by providing accurate and objective assessments of the value of various assets. These professionals possess specialized knowledge and expertise in evaluating different types of assets, such as businesses, stocks, bonds, intellectual property, and goodwill. Their primary responsibility is to determine the fair market value of these assets based on established valuation methods, market trends, economic conditions, and relevant legal and regulatory frameworks.

In a family business scenario, they would conduct extensive research, gather relevant data, and apply appropriate valuation methodologies to estimate the worth of assets. By considering factors such as cash flow, market demand, industry conditions, comparable sales, and risk assessments, they provide insightful and well-documented valuation reports that assist stakeholders in making informed decisions. Their expertise helps ensure transparency, fairness, and accuracy in asset transactions, financial reporting, and legal proceedings, ultimately contributing to effective risk management and sound investment strategies.

Business Broker

A business broker is a professional who helps business owners sell their businesses by acting as an intermediary between the seller and the buyer and provide a range of services in a business transaction. These services typically include valuing the business, preparing it for sale, marketing the business to potential buyers, negotiating terms of the sale, and coordinating the closing of the sale. The broker’s goal is to ensure that both the buyer and seller are satisfied with the transaction and that it is completed in a timely and efficient manner.

Business Consultant

A business consultant acts as a catalyst for change within an organization by providing impartial expert advice and guidance. Their primary objective is to analyze and evaluate the current state of a business, identify areas of improvement, and develop strategies to enhance its overall performance and profitability. Business consultants bring their specialized knowledge and skills to the table, offering objective insights and recommendations to help companies overcome challenges and achieve their goals. They conduct thorough research, gather data, and assess internal processes, market trends, and competition to provide informed solutions. Business consultants also assist in implementing changes and monitoring progress, ensuring that the proposed strategies align with the organization’s objectives and drive sustainable growth.  Their expertise can help businesses make critical decisions and navigate complex situations.

Certified Conflict Coach

In a family business scenario, a certified conflict coach can play a crucial role in helping the family and the business manage conflicts effectively. Conflict coaches are trained professionals who work with clients to help them develop their conflict resolution skills and strategies. They help clients identify the underlying causes of conflicts, understand their own emotional responses to conflicts, and explore different options for resolving conflicts. Their expertise can have tremendous impact in resolving long standing disagreements and help family members understand each other’s perspectives.

Primarily, they help clients build self-awareness and emotional intelligence by teaching how to identify emotional triggers, develop effective communication skills, and manage emotions in high-pressure situations. They also help clients to develop empathy and active listening skills, which are essential for building stronger relationships and resolving conflicts in a constructive way. By providing guidance and support to clients, certified conflict coaches empower individuals and family business members to navigate conflicts successfully and build more resilient relationships. By managing conflict, a family business dramatically increases its chance of overall success.

Certified Public Accountant

A certified public accountant (CPA) provides expert accounting services to individuals, businesses, and organizations. Their primary responsibility is to ensure the accuracy and transparency of financial records and reports. CPAs are entrusted with tasks such as auditing financial statements, preparing tax returns, conducting financial analysis, and offering strategic financial advice. Their role extends beyond mere number crunching as they are also expected to interpret financial data, identify areas of improvement or risk, and provide recommendations to enhance financial performance and compliance.

Furthermore, they are responsible for maintaining client confidentiality and exercising due diligence to prevent fraud or financial mismanagement. Overall, the role of a CPA involves being a trusted financial advisor who provides accurate and reliable information, ensures compliance with financial regulations, and helps clients make informed decisions to achieve their financial goals.

Estate Attorney

Estate attorneys play a crucial role in assisting individuals with their estate planning and ensuring their final wishes are carried out effectively. These attorneys specialize in the complex area of law that deals with wills, trusts, and estates. One of their primary responsibilities is to help clients create comprehensive estate plans that include drafting and reviewing legal documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. They provide expert guidance on various matters, including asset distribution, tax planning, and healthcare directives. Estate attorneys work closely with their clients to understand their specific needs and goals, and they tailor estate plans accordingly to maximize the protection and distribution of assets upon the client’s death. They also ensure that the estate plans comply with applicable laws and regulations, minimizing the potential for disputes and legal challenges.

In addition to estate planning, estate attorneys play a vital role in the probate process. When an individual passes away, their estate typically goes through probate, which is the legal process of validating the will, settling debts, and distributing assets. Estate attorneys assist the executor or personal representative of the estate in navigating this complex process. They handle tasks such as filing necessary court documents, notifying creditors and beneficiaries, and resolving any disputes that may arise during probate proceedings. Estate attorneys provide valuable guidance and representation throughout the entire probate process, ensuring that the deceased person’s estate is distributed in accordance with their wishes and the applicable laws.

Executive Leadership Coach

Executive leadership coaches are professionals who work closely with senior-level executives, managers, and leaders to enhance their performance, personal growth, and overall effectiveness in their roles. These coaches provide guidance, support, and feedback to help executives develop their leadership skills, tackle challenges, and achieve their professional goals.

One of the primary roles of an executive leadership coach is to assess the executive’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. They conduct interviews, assessments, and 360-degree feedback surveys to gather comprehensive insights into the executive’s leadership style, communication skills, decision-making abilities, and emotional intelligence. Based on such assessments, the coach collaborates with the executive to create a customized development plan.

Coaches also assist in developing essential leadership competencies, such as strategic thinking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and effective communication. They provide guidance in managing teams, fostering a positive organizational culture, and navigating complex business environments. Coaches also help executives enhance their emotional intelligence, resilience, and adaptability, enabling them to handle stress, change, and ambiguity more effectively.  They provide objective and unbiased perspectives, challenging the executive’s assumptions and beliefs to promote self-awareness and personal growth. Through active listening and powerful questioning, coaches help business leaders gain clarity, identify their values, and align their actions with their goals.

By challenging and stretching their clients, these coaches empower leaders to unlock their full potential, drive organizational success, and create a positive impact on their teams and the broader business landscape.


A facilitator can play a crucial role in helping a family business navigate challenges and enhance its overall functioning. By fostering effective communication, resolving conflicts, and promoting strategic planning, a facilitator can facilitate positive outcomes for the business and the family.

A facilitator can create a safe and inclusive environment where family members can express their thoughts and concerns openly. By encouraging active listening and constructive dialogue, the facilitator helps family members understand each other’s perspectives and find common ground. This improved communication can lead to better decision-making and conflict resolution within the business.

The facilitator can assist in resolving conflicts that may arise due to the dynamics of family relationships in the business context. They can mediate disputes, help family members manage emotions, and find mutually acceptable solutions. By promoting healthy conflict resolution, the facilitator ensures that family conflicts do not adversely affect the business’s operations and relationships.

Additionally, in family business where conflict is not an urgent concern, a facilitator can guide the family business through the process of strategic planning. By facilitating discussions around long-term goals, succession planning, and business development strategies, the family can align their individual and collective visions for the business, identify opportunities and challenges, and create actionable plans to achieve their goals.

Overall, a skilled facilitator can bring objectivity, structure, and expertise to a family business. By fostering effective communication, resolving conflicts, and facilitating strategic planning, they can help the family navigate complexities, build stronger relationships, and enhance the business’s overall performance and sustainability.

Family Business Coach

A family business coach plays an on-going role in helping family-owned businesses navigate the unique challenges and complexities that arise when combining family dynamics with business operations. Their primary objective is to facilitate the growth, harmony, and longevity of the family business by providing expert guidance, support, and practical solutions tailored to the specific needs of the family and the business.

Firstly, a family business coach serves as a neutral and objective third party, offering an outside perspective on the family’s dynamics and business processes. They help identify and address potential conflicts, improve communication, and foster a healthy work environment. By creating a safe space for open dialogue, they assist family members in understanding each other’s perspectives, resolving conflicts, and making sound business decisions.

Secondly, a family business coach assists in strategic planning and succession management. They aid in developing a clear vision, mission, and goals for the business, ensuring alignment with the family’s values and aspirations. They may help identify potential successors, facilitate leadership development, and establish a succession plan that ensures a smooth transition of power and ownership within the family.

Additionally, a family business coach helps in managing the emotional aspects of running a family business. They assist in managing family relationships, dealing with intra-family conflicts, and addressing issues of fairness, equity, and entitlement. They help establish boundaries between family and business, promoting healthy communication and work-life balance.

Ultimately, the role of a family business coach is to facilitate the growth and success of the family business while nurturing the family’s relationships and well-being. They bring specialized knowledge, experience, and objectivity to guide the family through the challenges they face, ensuring the business thrives across generations.

Family Business Consulting Firm

A family business consulting firm primarily exists to assist large family-owned businesses in managing the complexities and challenges unique to their enterprise. Family businesses are often characterized by overlapping roles, complex decision-making processes, and interpersonal dynamics that can impact business operations and growth. A family business consulting firm can provide specialized expertise to help families navigate these complexities and improve their business performance.

One of the primary roles of a family business consulting firm is to provide advice and guidance on family governance structures. They can help establish family constitutions, codes of conduct, and succession plans to ensure a smooth transition of leadership from one generation to the next. They can also provide mediation services to help resolve conflicts and facilitate communication among family members.

In addition, family business consulting firms can provide specialized services such as talent management, leadership development, and coaching to help family members build their skills and prepare for leadership roles within the business.

Overall, the primary role of a family business consulting firm is to help family-owned businesses navigate the unique challenges they face and achieve their goals while preserving family harmony and relationships.

Financial Analyst

A financial analyst plays a crucial role in evaluating the financial health and performance of companies, industries, and investment opportunities. Through comprehensive research and analysis, they provide valuable insights and recommendations that aid decision-making processes for investors, businesses, and financial institutions.

Financial analysts gather and analyze financial data, including company financial statements, market trends, economic indicators, and industry reports. They utilize various quantitative and qualitative techniques to assess the profitability, liquidity, and stability of companies, identifying key financial strengths, weaknesses, risks, and growth prospects.

Based on their analysis, financial analysts develop financial models and forecasts, projecting future revenues, expenses, and cash flows. They evaluate investment opportunities, such as stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, assessing their potential risks and returns. Their work also involves monitoring and interpreting market conditions, regulatory changes, and macroeconomic factors that impact financial markets.

Furthermore, financial analysts prepare detailed reports and presentations, communicating their findings and recommendations to stakeholders, including executives, fund managers, and clients. Their insights aid in strategic decision-making, such as mergers and acquisitions, investment strategies, and financial planning.

Moreover, financial analysts play a vital role in risk management, developing strategies to mitigate financial risks and optimize portfolio performance. They stay updated with industry best practices, financial regulations, and accounting standards, ensuring compliance and ethical financial practices.

Family Law Attorney

In the context of a family-owned business, a family law attorney plays a vital role in providing legal guidance and support. They assist families in navigating the unique challenges and complexities that arise when business and family dynamics intersect.

Family law attorneys help with various aspects of the family-owned business, including business formation, governance, and succession planning. They assist in drafting and reviewing partnership agreements, bylaws, and other legal documents to establish clear guidelines for ownership, management, and decision-making within the family business.

In case of disputes or conflicts among family members regarding the business, family law attorneys offer mediation and negotiation services to facilitate resolution and maintain family harmony. They also represent clients in litigation, and if necessary, protect their rights and interests.

Furthermore, family law attorneys address issues related to divorce or separation within a family-owned business. They navigate the complex process of valuing and dividing business assets, determining spousal support.


A mediator in a family business scenario plays a vital role in resolving conflicts and facilitating effective communication among family members. As an impartial third party, the mediator’s primary objective is to help the family navigate through disputes, preserve relationships, and find mutually beneficial solutions.

In this context, a mediator would typically employ the following steps:

1. Neutral Assessment: The mediator starts by understanding the family dynamics, individual perspectives, and the underlying issues causing conflict. They create a safe space for open dialogue, encouraging each family member to express their concerns and goals.

2. Facilitating Communication: The mediator ensures that everyone has an opportunity to speak and be heard. They establish ground rules for respectful and constructive discussions, promoting active listening and empathy among family members.

3. Identifying Interests: The mediator helps the family members articulate their interests and needs, fostering a deeper understanding of individual motivations. By exploring shared goals and common ground, they lay the foundation for collaborative problem-solving.

4. Generating Options: Through brainstorming sessions, the mediator encourages the family to generate a variety of potential solutions. They assist in evaluating the pros and cons of each option while focusing on win-win outcomes that address both business and family concerns.

5. Negotiation and Agreement: The mediator facilitates negotiations, helping the family members reach a consensus. They assist in structuring agreements that are fair, feasible, and aligned with the long-term objectives of the family business.

6. Maintaining Relationships: Even after an agreement is reached, the mediator may offer ongoing support, ensuring that the family members uphold their commitments and helping them navigate any future challenges that may arise.

Overall, a mediator acts as a skilled facilitator, guiding family businesses through conflict resolution processes with the aim of fostering harmony, maintaining family relationships, and promoting the long-term success of the business.

(NLP) Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner

A neuro-linguistic practitioner (NLP) can assist a family business and its owners by helping the family members identify and overcome any limiting beliefs. And consequently, overcome communication barriers, or conflicts that may be hindering the growth and success of the people who lead or work in the family business. By using NLP techniques such as reframing, anchoring, and rapport building, the practitioner can help the family members develop a better understanding of their individual internal belief system which can result in greater self-awareness, better communication skills and deeper understanding of one another. This kind of deep work can lead to a more positive mindset and in turn help a family attain its business goals.


A licensed psychologist can provide valuable assistance to a struggling business family by addressing various challenges and promoting overall well-being. Firstly, they would conduct thorough assessments to understand the dynamics, communication patterns, and individual issues within the family. By identifying sources of conflict, stress, or emotional difficulties, the psychologist can help family members gain insight into their own behaviors and emotions.

Through individual and family therapy sessions, the psychologist would facilitate open and honest communication, encouraging family members to express their concerns, frustrations, and aspirations. They would provide a safe space for discussing sensitive topics and work towards resolving conflicts and improving relationships. Additionally, psychologists may offer strategies for effective communication and conflict resolution, helping family members develop healthy coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills.

Moreover, the psychologist would focus on enhancing the family’s emotional well-being by addressing stress management, work-life balance, and self-care practices. They may also provide guidance on setting boundaries between work and family life, fostering resilience, and cultivating a supportive and cohesive family unit. Ultimately, the psychologist’s aim is to empower the business family to navigate challenges, strengthen their relationships, and promote the overall success and harmony of both the family and the business.

Somatic Coach

A somatic coach is a professional who focuses on the mind-body connection to support personal growth and transformation. They help individuals develop awareness of their bodily sensations, emotions, and patterns of movement to promote holistic well-being and self-discovery.

A somatic coach may use body-centered exercises, breathwork, movement, and mindfulness to help individuals connect with their physical experiences. By paying attention to sensations, tensions, and emotions in the body, clients can gain valuable insights into their thoughts, beliefs, and patterns of behavior.

The somatic approach recognizes that our bodies hold information and wisdom that can guide us towards healing, self-expression, and personal growth. Through somatic coaching, individuals can explore and transform deep-seated physical and emotional patterns that may be limiting their potential or causing discomfort.

Somatic coaching facilitates the release of physical and emotional blockages. By addressing and resolving tension, trauma, or stored emotions in the body, clients can experience a greater sense of freedom, vitality, and emotional resilience. Through somatic practices, clients can cultivate a deeper connection with themselves, accessing their intuition, creativity, and inner wisdom leading to embodied presence and authenticity.  Overall, somatic coaching offers a holistic approach to personal development, integrating the mind, body, and emotions.

Tax Attorney

A tax attorney plays a crucial role for a family business by providing expert advice and guidance on various tax-related matters. They assist in minimizing tax liabilities and ensuring compliance with tax laws and regulations. In a family business scenario, they help the family business navigate complex tax codes, identify eligible deductions and credits, and develop effective tax strategies. They can provide valuable insights on structuring the business, such as choosing the appropriate legal entity, managing succession planning, and addressing estate tax concerns.

Additionally, a tax attorney can represent the family business in interactions with tax authorities, handling audits, negotiating settlements, and resolving disputes. Their role extends beyond tax planning and compliance to encompass a proactive approach in maximizing tax benefits and minimizing risks for the family business, allowing it to operate efficiently and achieve long-term financial goals.


A therapist can support the mental health of an individual from a family business by providing a safe and confidential space to discuss their personal and professional experiences. They can help the individual identify and manage stressors, improve coping mechanisms, and develop healthy communication and problem-solving skills. By exploring the individual’s experiences, the therapist can also help identify any underlying mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression, and provide appropriate referrals and support.

Furthermore, therapists can support individuals in managing the complex dynamics that arise in family businesses. This includes helping them navigate difficult conversations, set boundaries, and develop effective conflict resolution skills. A skilled therapist experienced in family business dynamics, might also provide guidance on succession planning, enabling the individual to plan for the future and manage the potential stressors associated transitions.

Trusted Advisor to Family Business

In the context of a family business, a trusted advisor is an individual or a team of professionals who offer strategic guidance and advice to the family members who own and operate the business. These advisors typically have a deep understanding of the family’s values, goals, and dynamics, and they can provide objective insights and perspectives to help the family make informed decisions.

Trusted advisors may include accountants, lawyers, financial planners, consultants, and other professionals with relevant expertise. They can assist with a wide range of issues, including succession planning, governance, financial management, and conflict resolution. The most effective trusted advisors are those who prioritize building long-term relationships with the family and who understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with running a family business.

Key to being a trusted advisor is the sincere commitment to helping the family achieve their goals and succeed over the long term.

Wealth Manager

A wealth manager plays a crucial role in helping individuals and families effectively manage and grow their financial resources. As trusted advisors, wealth managers work closely with their clients to develop comprehensive financial plans tailored to their specific goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. They provide guidance on a wide range of financial matters, including investment management, retirement planning, tax optimization, estate planning, and risk management. By understanding their clients’ financial objectives and constraints, wealth managers help create a roadmap for achieving long-term financial success. They monitor market conditions, evaluate investment opportunities, and make strategic recommendations to optimize portfolio performance and minimize risks. Through ongoing communication and collaboration, wealth managers provide personalized advice and adjustments to adapt to changing circumstances, ensuring their clients’ financial well-being is continuously supported.

At a higher level, wealth managers may serve as a coordinator for a client’s overall financial affairs. They collaborate with other professionals such as accountants, attorneys, and insurance agents to address various aspects of their clients’ financial needs. Wealth managers help streamline financial decision-making by facilitating communication among these professionals and ensuring that all strategies align with the client’s objectives. They assist in organizing and consolidating financial information, simplifying the management process, and enhancing efficiency. Moreover, wealth managers stay informed about the latest industry trends, regulatory changes, and investment opportunities to provide their clients with up-to-date insights and guidance. By assuming a holistic approach and acting as a trusted partner, wealth managers strive to alleviate financial stress, foster financial literacy, and empower their clients to make informed decisions that align with their long-term aspirations.

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