Consulting for Family Businesses & Startups


Startups and family businesses face many of the same challenges. And in fact, in their early stages, many startups do feel like a family. From managing a small but growing team to balancing the desires of highly passionate stakeholders, both family businesses and startups must take care to emphasize teamwork, optimize performance, and minimize destructive conflicts.

Who makes the decisions? Who “owns” what? How can a business grow without losing what made it great in the first place? Can two people share a role successfully? How do we even know what roles need to be filled and how can we find the right people? Why are we fighting and how can turn negative energy into something positive?

These are just a couple of the questions we’re often asked by leaders of the close-knit teams found at many family businesses and startups. Where can you find the answers?

At JLM Management Consultants, our years of experience provide you a set of concepts and tools to assess your organization’s situation and performance, and guide your employees to create an environment where great things can happen.

Working Together Takes Work

As principal of JLM Management Consultants for over 30 years, I’ve helped family businesses and startups to grow.

Here’s the secret: on the best teams, everybody leads.

Leaders don’t carry the load on their own. Startups and family businesses must rely on individuals who behave as leaders and also play well together as strong teams. Teams must be fast, flexible, and capable of developing incredibly creative solutions to challenging problems. Agile small businesses must count on these team members to lead through their actions, not simply wait for instructions from above.In order to lead, each member of your team must feel confident, competent, and committed to the organization. When these feelings are present in an organization founded upon mutual accountability, the results can be extraordinary.

But how can a family business or startup reach a place where the extraordinary can happen?

Using the TEAM Model to Achieve the Extraordinary

At JLM Management Consultants, we’ve been developing, testing, and refining the TEAM model to help organizations create powerful cultures and achieve real results for their businesses.

Here’s how it works:

  • Target – Be it a laser-focused goal or a broad guiding vision, family businesses and startups need a target to aim for. Teams with a clear purpose work with focus and direction– something that every family business and startup needs.
  • Environment – Our approach will help your team develop the trust needed to thrive. Great teams have a working environment that includes open communication, mutual respect, direct feedback, and a willingness to work through constructive conflicts.
  • Accountability – In a fast-paced startup or family business, there’s just not room for duplicated work, “turf wars”, and lapses in responsibility. The TEAM model helps you clarify roles and responsibilities, allowing everyone to do their best work as they know what to do and who they can count on for results.
  • Methods – How will your team work? Many organizations fail to address this critical question, focusing instead only on their target. Our consulting program will help you and your team decide upon methods that will help you to work together.

Ready to Strengthen Your Startup or Family Business?

Each team has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. You may already have a team that is practicing all four characteristics of the TEAM model. Or perhaps your team may be quite strong in one or two areas but need a bit of help to optimize their performance.

Our consulting programs begin by determining at “where you are” and providing you with the training and skills your team needs to get “where you need to be.” Often, we need to take your team Off-Site to have the time and focus needed to completely work through issues.

Our approach emphasizes:

  • Assessing the current state of your team
  • Customizing our consulting program to focus on your team’s needs
  • Developing an action plan to implement in your workplace
  • Reinvigorating your team with frequent follow-ups

Clients love JLM Management Consultants

“I reached out to Jeri Mersky, Ph.D. for help with a very specific set of business problems that I was facing as an owner of a small business. I needed a sounding board and advice about how to untangle a number of overlapping issues that were bogging me–and the business–down. I found Dr. Mersky listened carefully, had a quick and immediate grasp of the challenges I faced, and offered immediate ideas to help me set some priorities. Having someone whose only agenda was helping me get unstuck not only led to clear action steps, but also gave me the support I needed to bring new energy to what had begun to feel like the same old issues. I wasn’t initially sure what a Business Coach could offer, but I do strongly recommend Dr. Mersky when in need of sound business advice, support and coaching.” – C. Weininger, Owner, Reactor Panels

Get In Touch

To learn how we can help strengthen your startup or family business:

Call us at (510) 339-3922
Email Us