Fraught issues of inheritance in family businesses are multiplied in blended families with all those ex-wives, ex-husbands, children, half-brothers, half-sisters, stepchildren, parents and step-parents.
But some family businesses manage to do it well. Bendigo furniture manufacturer Jimmy Possum is a shining example of how a blended family can create a successful family business. When Jimmy Possum was set up in 1995, Alan Spalding was producing furniture by himself, with his wife Margot learning to finish the product. The company now employs 130 people, has a turnover of $20 million and has shops in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Bendigo and four in Melbourne.