The Joy and Struggles of Family-Owned Businesses

Hello again!

It’s a joy to be able to write another article for you guys. Today I want to share with you my insights and experiences on the topic of Family-Owned Businesses. In my lifespan I have been in contact with many family businesses  all over the world. As a matter of fact when I was a teenager I was heavily involved in my family’s business. At that time we had a grocery store in which we sold groceries and all sorts of local and foreign products. My personal role in the store was to deliver products to clients around the city and also I was in charge of managing the store’s inventory.

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That experience led me to love the business lifestyle and also to know a lot of entrepreneurs and business people. A great portion of those business owners run a family-owned business.

What are the main characteristics of a family business?

There are many types of family business from a multiple generation business to just a couple who have the same profession or happen to work in the same career or type of business. In this example I have some good friends in Mexico who are husband and wife and work in a small architecture firm near Mexico City called Habit Design Construction: www.habitdesignconstruccion.com. They are the perfect example that couples can work together and complete projects in harmony, time and with success.

There always has be a person who is the leader, sometimes the eldest of the family, the grandpa or the eldest of the siblings. To be successful communication skills are vital. The leader has to be able to delegate and trust all the people involves.

Common Problems

Many times there could be problems when someone is not doing enough work and the others may feel like all the weight are on their shoulders. There is a simple solution for that. The leader has to make regular councils and be aware of all the situations. It’s better to speak out clearly about your feelings and try to solve the problems than hold the feelings and explode one day. If this happens, there could be irreparable damages to relationships. You don’t want that. You don’t want to be angry or upset with your family members. This are the folks that would be in every Thanksgiving Dinner and you want to avoid awkward situations.

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If a family is successful in leading their business there is no better satisfaction in the world. You can create constant cashflow for you and all your family and it’s a project that you can inherit to future generations. There is a hotel in Japan that has been with the same family for over 46 generations(over 1,300 years) . This is an atypical case, but you can strive to create wealth for your family and you could even invest in different branches or types of business.

If you think that this is a good opportunity for you consider the following:

  • Research business models that could work for you and your family.
  • Have a family council and talk about the details.
  • Take action and don’t look back.
  • Be patient: an empire takes time to be built.
  • Use all the technology and marketing channels available to your advantage.
  • Have constant leaderships with your family to evaluate where you are.

family

Family-owned businesses are a challenge and could be a disaster if not managed well. Fortunately there are many tools out there and also people that can help you in the way. You can count with me for help, contact me here.

See you in our next post,

Nancy

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