I believe that the family-owned business can be among the strongest business structures available into today’s competitive business. However, like any good idea it needs to be fully understood and respected for what it is by every participant (family member).
There are several challenges and distinct advantages that are offered by the family-ownership structure. First and foremost is the challenge to work-life balance. I grew up in a family business and the business was a part of almost all family discussion. My father made a rule that we would not talk about business at the dinner table. You need to build in some down time from discussing or thinking about business. The same is true for someone who is driven in the career they are pursuing working for someone else. It is difficult to separate work from the rest of life, but by putting some easy to follow “rules” and following them an acceptable work-life balance can be achieved.
A real advantage of a family business is that you can develop the company’s much easier and faster. Family members already generally understand and trust each other. This special acceptance or foundation allows for a strong bond to be developed early in the company’s life. Handled properly a culture based on family values can be developed that is very attractive to prospective and new non-family employees. The development of a strong company culture is part of the all-important foundation that a successful business build upon.
One of the challenges of the family-owned structure is bringing in non-family or outsiders into the company. Every business needs to have different perspectives and work experiences to develop a strong workforce on. If everyone is family then the perspective is narrow, but by bringing in outsiders the perspective can be broaden. As a result, a better decision-making mechanism is in place that helps improve or strengthen the company.
I will be talking more about When Your Family is Part of Your Business – What Now? on The Weekly Business Hour on Monday March 18th from 11:00a – 12:00pm. You can listen live at www.irlonestar.com or on Facebook Live on The Weekly Business Hour page or on City of Conroe FM 104.5 or FM 106.1.
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