Family businesses are specialFamily businesses are the cornerstone of the British economy
Family businesses are special
Family businesses really are special with one very important differentiator from non – family business; the day to day involvement of the family in the affairs of the business. You may be wearing the hat of a shareholder, a manager, a director or an employee.
Here are some of the characteristics that set family businesses apart:
- Balancing family and business interests often requires a compromise between family and business perspectives.
- Some members of the family business system think more as family members; other as managers; others as owners.
- The company’s business plans must be integrated with leadership and ownership succession plans.
- Non-employee family owners want, need and deserve a role in the business’ strategy, culture and governance system.
- Gaining the motivation to become a successful successor can be difficult, particularly given the ambivalence that heirs often feel.
- Preserving the business can appear more important than economic rationality.
- Paternalism is promoted due to long terms of leadership and the need to gain people’ allegiance without sharing too much power or information.
- If we maintain that family businesses are special we must conclude that advisers to family owned or run businesses need to have a special understanding of their family business client.