Family businesses have a long history, and some of the most iconic brands started out as family businesses. Family businesses refer to businesses where one or more family members own and control the business and continue through several generations. Family businesses are a smart way to start a new business while keeping control of its growth.
Start-up tips for growing a family business
Starting family businesses requires significant effort and business planning. But if done right, they can grow into successful businesses.
- Start with a business plan: The first step in starting a business is to prepare the ground. This means deciding on roles, the level of involvement needed, compensation and who reports.
- Plan the financing: If family members invest their own money in start-up financing, it is essential to recognize their contribution to the family business.
- Have an outside source: Although it may be tempting to keep everything in the family, external sources of advice and guidance are necessary. They can assume a neutral role and provide information without compromising relationships with other members.
What to avoid when running a business with family members
Although running a family business can be extremely rewarding, there are many risks of problems, egos and difficult relationships in the future. Unfortunately, many family businesses often fall victim to this, so it’s crucial to preserve relationships as much as possible while growing the business.
- Give preferential treatment to family members: As businesses grow, maintaining accountability and equality is crucial. Non-family members should not be treated differently from family, so no special treatment or self-interest is involved.
- Not having a succession plan: As family members retire or pursue other projects, having an estate process in place can help reduce problems for those involved. Additionally, 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. Rather than trying to force family relationships into a situation, they don’t want to be part of it. For children who want to be involved, make sure they have opportunities for outside experience. Let them decide which departments they would like to participate in based on their skills.
13 Amazing Family Businesses
Most family businesses succeed when they have a great idea in a specific niche. If you are considering starting a family business or a small business, there are many amazing ideas to pursue. We’ll review profitable and fun family business ideas to inspire you to start your own.
1. Celebration boxes
For crafty families with an entrepreneurial bent, celebration boxes might be a great idea. The family can get involved by creating thematic boxes with handmade and selected products. They can use their artistry for celebrations around special occasions such as baby showers, graduations, weddings, and more.
2. Pet sitting
Pet sitting can be a great idea for family members who love animals and want to earn money. You can start with your neighborhood to grow your customer base and build your reputation.
3. University Council
If you like the prospect of working with other families and helping high school students, college counseling might be a great idea. You can work with prospective students to help them select colleges, prepare applications, and provide guidance on their college essays.
If your family members have green thumbs and love plants, why not start a nursery? You can start with indoor plants for the office and home, sell them in your area before growing them, and even offer outdoor plants.
5. Start an online store
As a family business, you can also start an online store and sell products. You may need to invest some money upfront in researching the right types of products based on your interests. However, as you grow your business, you will have less debt and your online business could turn out to be a profitable idea.
6. Shopping service
If you’re looking for business ideas that don’t require a ton of money from the company, you can also start an errand business. This can include basic chores like dry cleaning, quick errands, and anything locals need help with.
7. Farmer’s Market Vendor
You can also work with family members to sell produce and produce at farmers markets to earn extra money. You can local brand your products for your family business idea and set up a stall at the farmer’s market to sell to new customers with the whole family.
8. Cleaning company
Depending on the region, many family businesses have ventured into commercial and residential cleaning. You can offer office and home cleaning services at reasonable hourly rates or flat rates and volume discounts for large clients.
9. Automatic Details
If there are family members with the right skills, car detailing can be a profitable business. Customers are always on the lookout for reliable and affordable car detailing services, so you can develop a strong clientele.
10. Babysitting service
As more and more people work from home or have hybrid work schedules, childcare services are increasingly in demand. You could start a child care service in your home to provide nearby neighbors with affordable and trustworthy child care.
11. Tour 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, etc., depending on what the area has to offer.
12. Bed and Breakfast
If you have a suitable location, you can create a guesthouse for visitors. Many family business startup ideas are found in the hospitality industry, and a B&B could be an inexpensive way to break into the market.
13. Small Farm
A small farm can be profitable if you have the real estate for it. Many customers are looking for local produce and fruit, and it’s also a good business that the next generation can take over. You can spend time growing high-demand fruits and vegetables and selling them in local markets.
Are family businesses profitable?
As a small business, a family business can be extremely profitable. A lot of family businesses have become huge, like Walmart, and there’s a lot of value creation with those kinds 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 are usually based on the talents and skills that family members may have. If you are looking to start a successful business, an online store or a small farm could be successful. However, if family members have specific skills, small businesses can also take advantage of them.
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