Family businesses have existed throughout history and some of the most iconic brands started as family businesses. Family businesses refer to businesses where one or more family members own and control the business and continue for several generations. Family businesses are a smart way to start a new business while maintaining control over its growth.
Start-up tips for the development of a family business
Creating family businesses requires significant effort and business planning. But if done right, they can grow and become successful businesses.
- Start with a business plan: The first step to starting a business is to lay the groundwork. This means deciding on roles, the level of involvement required, compensation and who you report to.
- Funding map: If family members put in their own money for the initial funding, it is essential to recognize their contribution to the family business.
- Have an external source: While it may be tempting to keep everything in the family, outside sources of advice and guidance are needed. They can assume a neutral role and provide information without jeopardizing relationships with other members.
What to avoid when running a business with family members
While running a family business can be immensely rewarding, there is a high risk of problems, egos and difficult relationships moving forward. Unfortunately, many family businesses tend to fall victim to this, so it is crucial to preserve relationships as much as possible while developing the business.
- Give preferential treatment to family members: As companies grow, it is crucial to maintain accountability and equality. Non-family members should not be treated differently from family, so there is no special treatment or vested interest.
- Not having a succession plan: As family members retire or pursue other ventures, having a succession process can help reduce problems for those involved. Also, creating clear rules about what happens and who takes over when a family member leaves will protect the business in the long run.
- Think about future generations: Future generations may not want to be part of the business, and that’s okay. Instead of trying to force family relationships into a situation, they don’t want to be there. For children who want to participate, make sure they have opportunities for outside experience. Let them decide which departments they would like to participate in based on their skill sets.
13 incredible family businesses
Most family businesses succeed when they have a great idea in a specific niche. If you are thinking about starting a family business or a small business, there are many amazing ideas to follow. We’ll go through fun and profitable family business ideas to inspire you to start your own.
1. Celebration boxes
For crafty families with a penchant for entrepreneurship, celebration boxes could be a great idea. The family can get involved by creating themed boxes with handmade and curated products. They can use their artistic style for special occasion celebrations such as baby showers, graduations, weddings and more.
2. Pet daycare
Pet care can be an excellent idea for family members who love animals and want to earn money. You can start in your neighborhood to grow your customer base and build your reputation.
3. University consulting
If you enjoy the chance to work with other families and help high school students, college counseling might be a great idea. You could work with prospective students to help them select colleges, put together applications, and provide guidance on their college essays.
4. Plant nursery
If your family members have green thumbs and love plants, why not start a plant nursery? You can start with office and indoor plants, sell them in your area before they grow, and even offer outdoor plants.
5. Start an online store
As a family business, you can also create an online store and sell products. You may have to invest some money initially to get the right types of products based on your interests. However, as you grow the business, you will have less debt and your online business could turn out to be a profitable idea.
6. Order service
If you are looking for business ideas that do not require a lot of money from the company, you can also start an errand business. This could include basic tasks like picking up the laundry, quick shopping trips, and anything that people in the neighborhood need help with.
7. Farmer’s market vendor
You can also work with family members to sell produce and produce at farmers markets for extra cash. You can create a local brand for your products for your family business idea and set up a stand at the farmers market to sell to new customers with the whole family.
8. Cleaning business
Depending on the area, many family businesses have dedicated themselves to commercial and residential cleaning. You can offer office and home cleaning services at reasonable hourly rates or package deals and volume discounts for larger clients.
9. Automatic details
If there are family members who have the right skills, auto detailing can turn out to be a profitable business. Customers are always looking for reliable and affordable auto detailing services, so you can grow a strong customer base.
10. Child Care Service
As more people work from home or have hybrid work hours, childcare has increased in demand. You could start a daycare service in your home to provide nearby neighbors with affordable and reliable daycare.
11. Tourist Guide Service
If your local community sees a lot of tourists and visitors, you can start your own business offering tour guide services. You can create special guided tours based on historical significance, adventure tours and more depending on what the area has to offer.
12. Accommodation and breakfast
If you have a suitable location, you can start a bed and breakfast for visitors. Many family business startup ideas are in the hospitality industry, and a B&B could be a low-cost way to enter the market.
13. Small farm
A small farm can be profitable if you have the real estate for it. Many customers look for local products and fruits, and it is also a good business that the next generation can take. You can spend time growing in-demand fruits and vegetables and sell them at local markets.
Are family businesses profitable?
As a small business, a family business can be very profitable. Many family businesses have grown to be huge, like Walmart, and there is a lot of value creation with these types of businesses. The Harvard Business Review found that family businesses play an important role in contributing to the global economy.
What is the best family business to start?
The best family businesses generally build on the existing talent and skills that family members may have. If you want to start a successful business, an online store or a small farm could be successful. However, if there are specific skills that family members have, small businesses can be built on that as well.
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