Dallas author talks Southfork Ranch, surviving family business drama

PARKER, TX —  Family feuds in the business world have been all over the news lately, with the fallout from a messy divorce threatening to shutdown down the internet fact checking site, Snopes.com.

And some serious family drama could also affect the future of Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.

Douglas Box knows about family business fallouts. He’s written a book about his own family, which is almost like the real life Ewing oil dynasty. That's fitting since their ranch was the original filming location for TV's Dallas.

“Life imitating art of the rise and fall of the family empire,” Box said. “Four brothers kind of squabbling over money and power and control of an oil and gas company based in Dallas, Texas.”

Now an author, speaker, and consultant, he helps people out with tips on how to manage family businesses and the crises that might come with them.

“Anytime you mix family with money, watch out,” said Box. “You really need a plan, you need a succession plan and you really need a team of advisors to help you put that stuff together. Most family companies, for that matter most non-family companies, have no written succession plan. When the founder dies or the owner dies or goes away, then you just have this vacuum of power and people will fight over that.”

And that doesn’t just go for the big guys like Snopes or Billy Bob’s. Even if it’s a tiny family restaurant or store, it's best to always be prepared, and try not to let the cash come between fam.