June 25, 2020

What Keeps Family Business Owners Up at Night?

In our CEO coaching, I always ask the business owner “What keeps you up at night?” That’s our starting point – because we want to address those stressors FIRST. I thought I would share a great report put forth by Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA).

Through their research they uncovered some eye-opening insight into what it’s like to be the owner of a privately held business in today’s global economy.


  • While the large majority (79%) report revenue growth in 2019, a substantially fewer report growth of 10% or more compared to 2018. (39% reporting 10%+ growth now vs. 47% reporting similarly for 2018).
  • Furthermore, fewer business owners this year report they are ‘very confident’ in their ability to increase revenue each year. 26% report as such now versus 33% reporting similarly last year.
  • 58% report that a recession or market downturn is the top risk to their business success. Coronavirus is mentioned by some as a risk to success and growth.
  • Reducing estate tax and income tax are top two economic priorities with reducing regulations a close third and federal trade policies at the bottom.
  • Income tax policy is of key concern for business owners. 71% of participants rank this as a top tax policy concern and 46% rate estate tax as top tax concern.
  • 67% of respondents support reducing the rate of the estate tax and 64% support repealing it altogether, while 57% would like to make the current exemption level permanent.


Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA), (501.c3) is dedicated to educating the public and legislators about the implications of public policy upon closely held and family-owned businesses. FEUSA conducts non-partisan research that highlights the contributions of family enterprise to the American economy and the challenges these businesses face, which is then used to educate legislators, policy makers and the public on the important role of family businesses in the economy and local communities.

FEUSA’s membership consists solely of, and supported by, family businesses with the single purpose of promoting family business in America, so they can continue to grow, thrive and add jobs.

Impact; FEUSA Annual Family Business Survey

Through its annual Family Business Survey, FEUSA has distinguished itself as an expert in data collection on family business across the United States.

CEO Coaching, Family Owned Business , , , , , , , ,
About RobinAnn Bienemann
I come across as classy, sassy and pretty in pink even as the CEO and Founder of Crimson Rook, LLC. For 30 years I served in executive positions in manufacturing and technical fields and did it wearing 4” heals with a flowered briefcase! Here’s what I do: I specialize in helping businesses become scalable, sustainable and transferable. I know what distinguishes successful companies from those that struggle – it’s my gift of sorts. My accomplishments include being one of the first women to run manufacturing operations in Silicon Valley, serving as Senior Vice-President at Blue Arc, a $60M computer storage company in San Jose, CA. I serve as the Entrepreneur in Residence for the University of Connecticut’s Schools of Business and Engineering and as a board member of a regional non-profit supporting sustainable agriculture and economic development. As CEO of Crimson Rook, I have been a strategic advisor to more than forty companies over the years and have now taken that talent and expertise to the Mastermind & Peer Group world with the launch of the Family Business Cooperative - a year long program designed for Academia - helping them launch Family Business Programs. I am a creative and effective meddler I’ve done this in the affairs of business and academia and have created alliances in both public and private companies and government that span domestic and international borders. I am a bicoastal grandparent with the affectionate title of Grammie Bubbles. My skills beyond business include chemistry in the creative spirits department and singlehandedly providing the color pink its most deserved recognition. I have received my BA from Springfield College and Masters of Science from MIT’s Sloan School of Management as a Sloan Fellow. The title of my Master’s thesis was “Entreprenurial Redeployment in Large Organizations.”

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