Monthly Archives: October 2020


How to Survive & Thrive in a Family Owned Business


by on Oct 27, 2020 1:15 PM

thrive in a family owned business during these challenging times

Let’s look at how to survive and thrive in a family owned business during these challenging times.  It would be an understatement for me to say that COVID has changed the way we do business. Some would argue for the better, others for the worse. Regardless of how it has affected your company, what I know is this: People are facing new demands and confronted with hard decisions that they can’t put off until tomorrow. Businesses can no longer sweep things under the rug and play it safe. This environment just won’t allow it.

I’ve heard from many of our clients who run a family owned business that they need to adapt. Business and familial issues that have mounted for years are suddenly forefront and must be resolved. For those who are willing to take my advice, I suggest hiring a trusted outside advisor. I know, it sounds like I’m plugging for Trilogy, but this may or may not be an advisory firm, depending on your primary concerns. Either way, I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact of consultants who can:

  • Listen without judgement, be objective and mediate
  • See problems with fresh eyes
  • Offer the hard truth
  • Support in making tough decisions
  • Assess and quarterback the steps you need to survive and thrive

Trilogy understands the obstacles and opportunities that family owned businesses face and our clients have made great progress with our support. We also know the importance of community and being heard. That’s why we’ve organized a (virtual) monthly Coffee Hour for those running family businesses, with confidential discussions centered around unique challenges. For more information or if you are interested in attending, please contact Beth Renga, Trilogy’s Director of Client Management.

Trilogy Partners has a long history of helping our clients implement successful changes. Read some of our success stories HERE and contact us HERE.


About Hal Levenson

Hal Levenson is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Trilogy Partners. Trilogy Partners is an advisory & implementation firm whose mission is to help companies grow and transform. We accomplish this by focusing on 3 critical business areas: FinancialStrategy & People.

Selective Exposure in Business


by on Oct 14, 2020 10:40 AM

Selective Exposure in Business

I recently read an article on Selective Exposure, a theory that refers to an individual’s tendency to favor information which reinforces his/her pre-existing views while avoiding contradictory information.  Before you stop reading because you think I might be referring to our country’s divisive political environment, I assure you that I wouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot pole. Instead, I’m applying this concept to business.

Companies come to Trilogy to help them solve their problems. In the initial diagnosis phase, we ask our clients to explain in detail their issues which are often comprised of financial woes, lack of strategy, misalignment, and/or employee challenges. We’re told savory stories about these roadblocks which, for the most part, seem plausible. Only when we dig deeper by reviewing data, asking tough questions, and getting other perspectives do we start to understand the entire picture.

Identifying Selective Exposure in Business

We’ve had instances when our root cause assessment ran counter to what we were originally led to believe. We’ve come to understand that data from one person’s perspective can be biased based upon something similar to selective exposure. For instance, a client was convinced that one of his employees was failing because the employee lacked a specific technical degree. The business owner aligned himself with people who thought the same and even did research on the benefits of having this type of degree. Our assessment found that the employee was competent; it was the company’s communication about expectations that was lacking. Our revelation to the business owner was a real eye opener for him.

Regardless of your role in a company, it is important to recognize when you are in the mindset of selective exposure. I would gently urge you to think about the following:

1. Do you consciously or unconsciously expose yourself to data about your business world that favors your opinion?
2. How do you react when your beliefs are challenged?
3. What would be the benefit of delving into an opposing belief?

Interested in learning more about this topic? Click HERE or contact me at agrubb@GetTrilogyPartners.com.


About Andrea Grubb

Andrea Grubb is the Chief Integrator Officer at Trilogy Partners. Trilogy Partners is an advisory & implementation firm whose mission is to help companies grow and transform. We accomplish this by focusing on 3 critical business areas: Financial, Strategy & People.

Time to Make the Donuts – Changing Your Perspective on Creating a Budget


by on Oct 6, 2020 12:26 PM

Creating a Budget

At the beginning of every 4th quarter, as I think about the upcoming year’s budget, I’m reminded of the old Dunkin Donuts commercial where the deflated guy woefully says, “Time to make the Donuts”. This is how some business owners feel about creating a budget.

Why is creating a budget viewed as such a drag? There are many possibilities. It could be looked upon as a necessary chore; something you are supposed to do. I know as a Visionary, being obliged into any type of process whether it be monthly or annually makes me cringe. It also forces an owner to face the state of his/her business which can be uncomfortable, and for some, may be even more difficult this year. Finally, some business owners just don’t know where to begin. I’ve seen instances where companies with relatively large revenues don’t have a budget for that very reason.

I often tell my clients that budgets should be viewed as an information tool and guidepost, not a nuisance. Budgets reveal the story of your business (both factual like fixed expenses and fictional like projected revenue) and abiding by it can also help keep the company focused on its goals.

Points to consider about creating a budget:

Get others involved in creating a budget. In addition to your CFO, Controller or Accounting Manager, other employees should play a part. This will not only help educate them but also provide a sense of ownership over the areas where they directly affect revenue and/or expenses.

Review your budget vs. actuals monthly. You can see patterns emerge much quicker by reviewing the data more often. This allows you to react or anticipate issues/opportunities in real time.

Be willing to learn from the numbers. Asking questions such as, “Why are the numbers in line? Why are they off base?” enables you to verify or invalidate your assumptions. The more you know, the better you can run your business.

If you are starting to consider using a budget for your company or have used one in the past and need guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can add meaning to your projections, help you manage by the numbers and create financial wellbeing.


About Hal Levenson

Hal Levenson is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Trilogy Partners. Trilogy Partners is an advisory & implementation firm whose mission is to help companies grow and transform. We accomplish this by focusing on 3 critical business areas: FinancialStrategy & People.