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    I want to take over the family business. But how?
    Need advice. My mom and dad have a couple of local businesses. I am interested in taking over one of them. My sister also happens to work in the business I want. Without getting into specifics, each family member doesn't seem to care less about the business. They do just enough to get by. My parents are preoccupied with other civic and political ambitions and my sister is just running out the clock. Its really a shame because the business used to do so well and it is really starting to decline...it's now losing money every year. I want to take control before there's nothing left to take control of. At this point I feel like a coup is my only option, lol! (Just kidding, really.)

    My parents lured me home from the city several years ago where I had an amazing job to "run the family business so they could retire". Entrepreneurship is my dream so I took the bait. I bought a house here and everything. When I was in charge, the business started making money hand over fist. (I put the products up online and built B2B relationships with businesses outside our local area. The parking lot was always packed.) Then all of the sudden my parents didn't want to retire because the business was making money and still refused to pay me any more than minimum wage. The friction between my parents and I as well as the friction between my sister and I became too much. I was tired of being taken advantage of so I left the business completely 3 years ago and have been working from home selling products online since then. It took a while but my personal relationships with family improved when I was no longer working with them.

    Mom and Dad have fired up the retirement talk again and have said that they will GIVE me the business if I will just take it over at the end of the year. I have a legal business entity of my own so the transfer would be pretty painless. The catch? I have to do it as a partnership with my sister. My sister and I actually get along pretty well...as sisters. As co-workers, we are like oil and water. Working with her was horrible and I would rather stab out my eyes than do it again. I have asked her what she wants and she doesn't know. She doesn't like the idea of not having a regular paycheck and wants to be an employee instead of a partner. I don't like the idea of paying her to surf Facebook all day. Not looking forward to the fights by trying to get her quit Facebook and get orders out the door. She's never worked anywhere else before--always for my parents. She pretty much does whatever she wants without consequence. Puts all of her work off for days or weeks at a time then martyrs herself when people start wanting to know if their orders are finished. In her mind she believes she is running wide open all day long...but I have worked with her and there are days when she does literally nothing. And since she has worked there the longest--she resents taking direction from me but she refuses to take more responsibility in the business.

    What I would like to do is get enough money to buy the business outright. She can continue working for them in their other businesses and I can hire someone that I can count on. I could actually do the work myself for a while without an employee. My credit score has been toast since paying off my credit cards last year though. I've been enjoying living debt free and my credit score dropped 80 points just last week. I am a tightwad and live a pretty low maintenance life, so no assets to speak of really. A lender would never give me money to buy it. I really don't know what my options are at this point. I don't want to buy all my own equipment and start a competing business. But I don't want to see that one just fade away to nothing either when I know I could do really well with it.

    Any advice on what my next step should be? What in the world should I do?


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    Family business dealings can be tricky. From personal experience I can relate to a great deal to what you're saying. False promises, or changes of heart happen frequently. Don't let it deter you if you're determined to gain ownership of their business.

    You're going to need to take your parents offer. The appears to be the best option. It might not seem like the best deal for you initially, but you'll then leave room to negotiate with your sister once she's on board.

    You seem ambitious, you can figure it out. What kind of business is it? What industry?


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