When Alexander F. Bouri decided to make Seament a family business, it was no accident. He knew that family businesses often have an edge over other companies, especially in the early phases. He built Seament into a global cement supplier, and his family was with him every step of the way. Here are four advantages to a family-run business:
1. People you can trust – No matter what line of business you’re in, it’s hard to find people you can count on—especially when you’re first starting out. While established companies can afford to head hunt leaders with a record of success, newer businesses often have to rely on what’s already available. As Alexander F. Bouri knows, a family-run business has a clear advantage in this regard, because your closest family members are those who will be entrusted with key aspects of the enterprise. While a spouse, son, daughter or sibling may not start out with expertise, they do have a strong interest in making the family business succeed—and you already know their individual strengths and weaknesses well. The rest can be learned.
2. The best education – If there’s anything that will give a child a lifelong advantage, it is knowing how to succeed at business. Working in a family business gives your children a hands-on, real-world understanding of the principles of capitalism years before their peers ever enter the workforce. This is especially true when you start children off doing basic tasks and slowly work them up to positions of more responsibility. These are lessons that they will greatly value one day.
3. Becoming closer with family members – For most people, family time and work life are constantly competing for their time and attention, and it’s a continuous balancing act to make enough time for both. One major advantage of a family business is that you get to see the people you care most about during your work day. Obviously, business comes first when you’re on the job, but that extra time together really does matter—especially when you’re working together to overcome challenges and solve problems. These are experiences that bring you all closer together.
4. The chance to leave your children something that will endure – What will happen to your business after you’re gone? For most businessmen the answer is that it will be carved up or sold off. A family business, however, has continuity built in. It will become an enduring legacy for your family and continue to help them prosper after you’re gone.
Do you have a family business?