The Pros And Cons Of Having A Family Business

Starting or maintaining a family business is an integral part of the American dream. Every businessperson chases fortunes so they can provide for and spoil their family. There is no better way to preserve the legacy of our ancestors than maintaining and improving the businesses they left us.

Although family businesses have this ancestral aspect to them, they provide for a unique experience for current involved members. These types of ventures are the backbone of modern American society. Despite their rich histories, these types of enterprises have their downsides. Here are some pros and cons of working in a family business.

PRO: Motivation

Working in a family-owned establishment means that you’re either among the owners or their close relatives. Seeing the business booming means seeing your close ones smiling, laughing, and celebrating.

The motivation to meet weekly, monthly and annual goals stem from the heart and not from empty promises to some CEOs living thousands of miles across the ocean. The work environment nurtures your motivation because all of your colleagues share the same point of view.

CON: Separating Work From Home

The downside of family-owned establishments is in setting boundaries. Some people look forward to Mondays because their obligations distract them from family feuds and similar disputes. Sometimes employees contribute to the company the most after they’ve escaped the corporate environment and refreshed their minds.

Family-owned businesses don’t have a clear boundary between home problems and business headaches. For that reason, many participating in those types of ventures bring issues from work to the dining table and family feuds in the office. Keep the lack of work life balance in mind before jumping into a family business.

PRO: Taxes And Insurances

The additional costs of taxes and insurance may be lowered for younger employees. Hiring minors in your business saves you money on taxes. Plus, they may owe little to no tax on their earned income. Of course, if you withhold taxes, they may have to apply to get a refund. Furthermore, if your services depend on transportation and your employees are family members, you can save a lot of money when applying for car insurance covering the whole family.

CON: Stubbornness

Everyone has one uncle, for example, who refuses to move into the 21st century. His ideas of how the world functions are almost identical to your great-great-grandfathers who opened the grocery store that evolved to the current family business.

His motto is “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” You and the rest of the family take him head-on every gathering, convincing him that his stubbornness will eventually ruin the business. These kinds of conflicts occur with every change of generation in family-owned establishments.

PRO: Healthy Environment

A toxic working environment is among the leading causes of why people feel depressed in their jobs. Family businesses are the only shops and companies immune to creating depressing atmospheres such as those.

If you need a couple of days to prepare for an important exam, for example, your sister or uncle would gladly cover your shifts on those days. All your colleagues are close relatives and close friends, which makes arriving at work more of a pleasure than an obligation.

CON: Emotional Reactions

Some people don’t take criticism well. In a conventional corporate environment, the circumstances force those to put their personal feelings at the side and behave professionally. If they don’t conform to the situation, their careers are in danger of stalling or failing.

Family-owned businesses are businesses in the first place. If one employee is not performing according to the standards, the management should have a word with them. But these conversations escalate because one of the parties perceives the criticism as betrayal and not advice.

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