4 Advantages of a Family Business

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?

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Keeping it in the Family – Some of the World’s Most Successful Family Businesses

Family businesses aren’t just corner drugstores or plumbing businesses. Some of the world’s most recognizable names and brands have been family-operated from the very start. Sam Walton, Henry Ford, Alex F. Bouri, and Frank Mars are just a few people that have given their heirs a company that they could happily call a legacy.

Wal-Mart

Chances are if you’ve ever done shopping of any kind, you’ve stepped into a Wal-Mart at least once in your life. While there have been controversies over the company’s treatment of its workers and its effect on local and global economies, one cannot discount the impact that Sam Walton’s company has had since he opened the first store in 1962. Currently, Sam’s son Rob Walton acts as chairman on the board of directors and each of Mr. Walton’s children top the annual list of richest people in the world.

Comcast

The largest cable provider in the United States, Comcast has its roots in the early days of television. Co-founded in 1963 by Ralph Roberts, Daniel Aaron, and Julian Brodsky as American Cable Systems, the Philadelphia-based company reported revenue of more than 64 billion dollars in 2013. Currently, Ralph Roberts’ son, Brian, runs the company.

Seament

You may not be familiar with the name, but Seament is secretly one of the most influential companies in the world. Dealing in cement trading, Seament was started in Nigeria by Alex F. Bouri. Boosted by innovations such as the floating cement terminal, Seament managed to build itself into one of the most respected companies in the industry, with the Bouri family still managing operations.

Mars

If you’ve ever gone trick or treating before, you’re plenty familiar with the name Mars. You may have thought that the candy giant behind M&Ms and Snickers was named after the red planet, but it’s actually named for its founder, Frank C. Mars. What started out as a homemade candy company in Washington became a booming business that currently employs 65,000 people. The board of directors is made up of Mars family members.

Ford

Henry Ford is the grandfather of modern industry. Without his innovation, who knows where we would be today. In the early days of the 20th century, Henry Ford catapulted Ford Motor Company to the top of car manufacturing by creating the assembly line, which not only made cars easier to produce, but more affordable for middle-class consumers. The company has been in control of the Ford family since the very beginning and has survived the Great Depression and the most recent near-collapse of the auto industry.

Family businesses come in all shapes and sizes. You may only think of small operations, but some of them are the most popular companies in the world.