So you have built an awesome family business over the last 31 or more years, you are making some money but somehow things could be better ….?
Having worked mainly in family SMME's over the last couple of years I have seen how sometimes despite their dysfunctionality these business survive and are profitable. They can struggle with consistent delivery and sometimes the team is the issue. Stated differently the "Family Management" could also be avoiding the open and honest discussions required as part of the normal work performance feedback, due to family relationships.
A number of family businesses do however deliver formidable results and here are 5 strengths that could explain why:
- They take a longer term view: Family businesses have more patience, it's not only about the results for the next quarter. Family businesses can take a longer term strategic view as they think of the business in terms of leaving a lasting legacy, a business that brings with it a sense of accomplishment and a strong sense of pride! It isn't about making a quick buck in business, it's about making the right investment decision for the long term.
- Family members are Loyal: Family members normally demonstrate a greater sense of loyalty to each other and to the business. They have a tendency to be more committed to the business' success and are more passionate about the values of the business and what it stands for.
- They have Family Values: Family business owners have the opportunity to teach and pass along their business and personal values to the next generation. Over time family members will take pride in upholding these business values and build them into their day-to-day work, their products and services and personal lives. The culture in the workplace will reflect these family values.
- Key personnel prefer the culture: Non-family employees may appreciate and enjoy the unique work environment created by a family in business. It's going to be less formal, and more hands-on and personable and if that's fits your personality, it's where you can grow and prosper. You may even find that some key employees are treated like extended family and develop a strong bond with the business owners.
- Family Provides for Succession: As well as providing great career opportunities, family businesses favour passing the business management on to the next generation. The opportunity to one-day be the owner of the business is both motivating and rewarding in the end.
The way that families interact as business owners, as family members and business managers can create challenges, as well as unique opportunities within the family business. These challenges have the potential to act as interferences and to detract from the potential of the business. More about that next time ….
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