The idea of a family business can seem like a nice and easy concept – why not go into business with those you trust and love the most? Yet there are just as many, if not more, hurdles for all siblings setting up stores and cousins creating cafes as non-family business partners.
I talked to Barbara Spector, Editor in Chief at Family Business Magazine – itself a family owned publication – and she shed some light on the pros and cons of going into business with family members.
‘Family businesses are the backbone of the American economy,’ she points out, adding that Walmart and Ford are both hugely successful family controlled companies. However, there is not a blanket of success for all family business, ‘some do well, some don’t,’ concedes Barbara.
One of the main challenges for family run businesses is the transition of ownership from the founder of the business to the siblings or whoever constitutes the next generation. This is when the question arises of who will become the next leader and siblings have to consider how to work together as business partners. And things only get more complicated when the business moves onto to its third generation.
Barbara brings up some valuable tips to consider:
- Put aside family roles and treat one another as business partners – if you’re handing your business over to your children don’t look at them as the kids whose diapers you changed, have confidence in them and ensure they are given the correct training.
- Keep the rewards in mind when things get tough: having a family business gives you the opportunity to work with those you love, carry on a legacy, maintain a valued connection with your community and seeing your name above the door will make you feel proud of your family.
Now here’s a nice success story…
Brothers Vinnie and Joseph Termini were given their family’s bakery business by their grandparents. The Philadelphia bakery is now in its 3rd generation and still thriving after nearly 90 years. So what is the brothers’ recipe for success?
Knowing that their business was one in which there was a rich sense of tradition the brothers focused their attentions on keeping up the family legacy. To do this they maintained the original image of the bakery so that there would still be a familiar atmosphere for their longtime customers. What is more, they still follow the same recipes their grandfather did and use the same tools in order to keep the bakery’s history alive today.
Joseph and Vinnie say they learned the value of hard work and dedication from their father. Seeing him work so hard which fueled their appreciation of the family business and made them want to be part of it. However, they also say that taking the reigns was never forced on them – they were aware that the job was there if they wanted it but would have to show they wanted it first.
The Termini brothers name dedication and hard work as key to their success, as well as their willingness to do any job necessary. They advise others in similar situations to them to keep in mind that those you are working with share your goals and that any animosity or jealousy has to be squashed at the outset.
If you have a cannoli craving after reading that, check out the Brothers website for online orders at http://www.termini.com