There is not a shred of doubt that the challenges of running a family business are many as we talked about in our previous article. But one shouldn’t ignore the fact that beyond these challenges is a series of benefits that one can enjoy being a part of a family business.
Besides monetary benefits, you can establish your ideas in the world and create an heirloom in the form of a successful business. It will support your family for generations to come. Further, if your business accomplishes its goals of adding value to society, it will always show your family in a positive, inspiring light. And being a part of a family business makes it easier, as all members of a family tend to grow up with the same values and wisdom. They share similar (if not the same) ideas that help propel the business and help make the world a better place.
For example, if your family cherishes the idea of a green environment, the chances are high that the business will focus on that too. And the goals will be more real and achievable than in one, where the leaders only speak but do nothing to execute those ideas in real life. You are also more likely to get people with similar mentalities in a family than in some company, where each member of the board has different, conflicting values. Even the employees will get clarity on their beliefs and actions, what they should or shouldn't do, in a company run by the members of the same family. There will probably be no confusion regarding their actions and decisions.
There are several other benefits of being a part of a family business. Let us now talk about those in detail.
The employees become a part of the family too
In a family-owned business, the employees can be less frustrated and confused than in other companies. This is mainly because members of a family tend to have the same values (if not beliefs), visions, and goals. That makes it easier for the employees to understand their leaders better and relax. For example, if philanthropy runs in the family, the business will reflect those values too. They may never make decisions that could harm a life, or humanity at large. If the family is into animal welfare, the employees may even be allowed to bring their pets to the office. It will create a positive and high-spirited ambiance for everyone to work and grow. In other words, family-run businesses have leaders, who tend to treat their employees as a part of the family and not merely as workers. It motivates them not only to do better in their respective fields but also to treat each other with mutual trust and respect.
Decisions don’t take much time in family business
Unlike in companies having people from different backgrounds coming together to achieve the same goal, family-run businesses have people belonging to the same background as leaders. It helps ease conflicts and hastens the decision-making process. For instance, if you are running a boutique with your sibling, and you want to introduce a new clothing line, the decision doesn’t have to wait. You can discuss it with him/her casually while having dinner or playing tennis and bingo! The next day, you can just contact the right people and take your idea forward. Even if your sibling has some issues, you can take your time to convince him, but it will still be faster than holding repeated board meetings and yet, reaching nowhere. It’s because, most of the time, the members of the same family are quite aligned in their thought processes. The conflicts are not too difficult to resolve, and convincing others of your ideas doesn’t take as much time as in non-family businesses.
The channel of communication is always open
In a family-run business, you can always have clear and hassle-free communication with your fellow members. Despite having different views and interests, you can always communicate your ideas freely with less fear of getting judged. It’s like sharing your views about a cricket match or a movie, unlike a non-family business, where everything needs to maintain a level of professionalism. This is because, in a family business, everyone has the best interests of the family in mind. If there is a decision to be made or a new risk to be taken, it should benefit the family. Unlike a non-family business, where people may have their individual interests in mind, here, the family is tied together with a similar mission, vision, and goals.
Resource pooling helps grow the family business
It’s easier to pool resources from fellow members, relatives, friends, and others in a family-run business. You can create extended families with people of the same community and pool resources to achieve a common goal. Not only do you share the same roof but also similar views and interests that align to help grow the business. Then again, when the interests of the family reign over the interests of an individual, growth can be faster and less risky. The resources are invested to achieve common goals and ambitions that ultimately benefit the business. When there is a crisis, the family businesses tend to suffer less because of this. The members of the family work shoulder-to-shoulder to overcome the challenges and ride out the storm.
Even in the face of a personal crisis, one can easily get any kind of financial or other help from the board. You cannot expect that level of comfort and understanding in a non-family business. For example, if you need money for enrolling in a course, you can borrow it from your parents or siblings. But can you expect that from a board member in a non-family business? To be honest, the board members, no matter how cool, are your professional acquaintances. They have no interest in your life. Harsh, but true!
The family business can be passed on
A family business is a legacy that lives on even when the founding members are no more. It teaches you a lot. While some families inherit the business and decide to sell it, some others maintain the tradition and keep running it for the sake of old memories and their future generations. Neither is wrong, as there is no right or wrong way about it if you are thinking about the welfare of the family. And that is the best thing about a family business. It can support you, uplift you and help you in need. It’s more valuable than a piece of jewelry, say a diamond necklace or an antique ring, treated as a family heirloom. The business grows, like a tree that keeps giving you food and shade for generations.
The children can learn a lot. Their emotional intelligence depends on the family environment, while their knowledge of the practical world and how it works can be gained from the business that the family runs. They can learn all about marketing, negotiating, and most importantly, selling, from a young age. The key benefit of an entrepreneurial family lies in the way their children are brought up. They tend to know a lot more about the commercial world and the way it functions than other children of their age. It also gives you a chance to engage with your kids better as they grow. If there is nothing else, you can train them in business from a tender age, so that they taste success faster.
You are always full of ideas
Most family businesses are run by real-life ideas to offer practical solutions to day-to-day problems. The members of an entrepreneurial family always seem to look for solutions to expand the services or add a new branch to their business. And they do that often. For example, you stay too busy to look after your children, and then you think of day-care service. Instead of finding one for the children, you can just introduce a new branch to your business, so that you can earn both socially and commercially. Your problems will be solved, and you will also get a chance to expand your business. And this happens to most entrepreneurial families out there. Any block on their path, a small stone or a boulder, they seem to just turn it into a profitable business idea.
The family spirit is everywhere
When there is a crisis, one of the first steps that non-family businesses take is cross-cutting. They cut down the number of employees or pay them down to manage the limited resources. Such a thing is rare in a family business. Even if it is one employee, the owners tend to think a lot before firing someone. This is because the family spirit is always high, and the members are well-aware of the contribution of everyone towards the business. They start from scratch and work as a troop to grow the business. So, they rarely throw anyone off board during a storm.
To sum up, a family business teaches us some of the greatest values in life. It helps us learn the ways of the world, teaches us to be compassionate, and enhances relationships. If you are in a family business, consider it good luck. You can reach the higher rungs of success with love and mutual respect.