Starting your own business is a scary proposition. One way to minimize risk and share the work is to go into business with someone else. But that creates a new business challenge — how do you find the right business partner? Many people answer this question by looking close to home. Going into business with family has its challenges, to be sure, but there are also several strong arguments in favor of merging your personal and professional lives. If you’re considering starting a family business, here are some benefits that might sway you.
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of trust in business, but ask anyone who has been betrayed by a colleague and you will be reminded of how crucial this quality is. Business requires risk, but it’s hard to feel confident about taking a risk if you’re not sure your own partner has your back. When you work with family, you don’t have to worry whether they have your best interests at heart. Your success is their success — and vice versa — and knowing that is priceless.
According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, family businesses are frugal both in bad times and good times. Family firms were found to treat their business capital more carefully. This is believed to be due to the fact that family business owners see the business’s money as the family’s money and vice versa. This leads to family businesses better managing finances and keeping expenses low, in addition to be able to work as a team effectively. Family run enterprises demonstrated this during the recession. They experienced less layoffs than public companies because they entered into it with leaner cost structures. This is a huge benefit for any small business that publicly traded companies could stand to learn from.
Another cornerstone of a successful business partnership is having an understanding of one another’s core values. Are you and your partner getting into business for the same reasons? Do you share a vision for where you want the business to be in five years? What fundamental values will guide you when it’s time to make tough decisions?
Not only are you likely to already understand your partner’s values when you have known that person for years; you are also likely to share some of those values because of your common background. This will make it much easier when it comes time to decide on internet marketing strategies.
Building your business skills is a difficult undertaking. An education in business gives you a solid theoretical foundation, but it’s only in applying what you’ve learned that you find out what works and what doesn’t. It can be a real challenge, however, to find a business partner who is willing to stick with you as you navigate that learning curve.
Take a cue from Daryl Katz, who joined his father’s small drugstore business and helped grow it into a hugely successful business empire. Katz has since expanded his business investments into real estate, sports, and other sectors — and it all started with a family business.
When your business succeeds, who reaps the benefits? All business owners feel good when their efforts result in well-deserved rewards for the people who helped them reach their goals. Imagine the added satisfaction of watching your own loved ones reap those rewards. When you work with family, you’re helping to build shared wealth. That’s an investment that will continue to pay off for generations.
Every family is different, and only you can decide whether or not a family business is right for you in this time of small business revolution. As in any business, there will be challenges and pitfalls. But what makes a family business special is that your deep bond means you will always be there to support each other in times of trouble, as well as to celebrate your shared success.
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