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The Reasons Why Kids Work in a Family Business

By Guest Author On March 2, 2011 Under Success Secrets

Children may not automatically want to be part of the family business enterprise.  Sometimes children who have grown up in the business become blase, uninterested or lack the desire and drive essential to with success run the business in the future.  They may actually take the business for granted, assuming it will always be there for them. Understanding this going in, a family business can more effectively plan for the growth and future of the business.

Understanding the Next Generation in a Family Business

Why do children join a family business?  What are their motivations?

— Influence the Family:  Influencing the family can be good and bad, depending of course on the motivations behind it. Positive influence on the family should be fostered and incubated in the family business. The business should not be a forum for childrent to attack each other for influence.  Positive Influences include:

  • Family Education Fund / Emphasis on Continuing Education
  • Foster an Atmosphere of Openness and Learning
  • Set good examples for kids to aim toward
  • Ingrain the values of Business Integrity and Ethical Responsibility
  • Foster & Promote Civic Duty
  • Promote & Support Community Volunteer Work, Projects and Board representation

— Help the Family Succeed:  Success for the Family  Business Turnaround Plan should translate to the success of the Family.  Future generations can have better lives, engage their passions and be happier if part of a cohesive team striving for a better future for the entire family- not just those in the business.

— Opportunity to Further One’s Career:  Not every family member needs to stay with the family enterprise. Family should be encouraged to pursue their goals and passions. The family business can be the teaching and proving ground, an incubator for family who desire other careers or want to spin off a related entity. On the flip side, after working in other companies, family members see what a great career destination the family business really is, allowing the child to reach full potential and successfully apply all their learned knowledge and experience. A real bonus for the family company.

— They Like the Family Business:  Having a passion for the industry and business the family enterprise occupies is often a major reason why family members join the Company.  What also plays into this is the requirement to work outside the Company to gain expertise and experience.  When the family member returns to the family business, there is inherent respect for the opportunity given and the successful growth history of their predecessors before them.  Having a firm understanding of what makes the family business special and unequaled creates a strong loyalty and passion for it.

— The Challenge:  If family members worked in the family business from a young age, were taught the value of a dollar, went off to college and to work for an outside Company for a several year period, then returning to the family enterprise can be a marvelous challenge to pursue.  For this reason, it is important the family business provides qualified family members with a real growth opportunity, to be part of its Strategic Plan, and a challenge to inspire drive, loyalty and passion in their career development.

Sense of Duty and Responsibility:  Some of the older children in the family’s next generations may feel the duty and responsibility to serve their family interests and ensure future succession success of the business.  This becomes apparent after the younger children become involved in the Company and sometimes the older child moves onto another career since his or her passion was extinguished by the stress and forbearance of fiduciary responsibility.  Or, it is sometimes the older children who spin off a subsidiary or new Company after feeling they have accomplished their role in the Company.  It is important to encourage the family’s children to pursue their passions, no matter what industry, and gain outside experience; however, sometimes it is a necessity to have the older child assume responsibilities early on if resources are scarce in the Company’s particular Growth Stage.

— Make Money:  While this is often the number one reason family members join the family business, it is closely followed by the “Liking the Business” category.  This relationship certainly makes sense:  making money is a major requirement of any career but it is strongly linked to liking what you are doing, the passion factor.  A well-prepared family business provides ample growth opportunities for family members to nurture their passion and be well rewarded for it through a competitive Compensation Package and close involvement in its Marketing Plan. Young family members are excellent choices to oversee the company’s  Web Marketing Strategy as they often have interest and skills in these areas.

About The Article Writer  ~  Frank Goley  ~  Business Consultant

Frank Goley has a rich and diverse background as a business consultant, business turnaround consultant, business plan writer, business plan expert, small business consultant, business coach, business plan consultant, marketing consultant, business planner and online marketing consultant, and seo consultant for ABC Business Consulting. He has been helping companies to succeed for many years. Frank wrote his first business plan over twenty years ago. He is an expert in developing business plans, marketing plans, funding plans, strategic plans, turnaround plans, web marketing strategies, and project specific business plans. Frank is the author of  Business Plan Workbook, The Comprehensive Business Plan Workbook – A Step by Step Guide to Effective Business Planning, and he has over 130 published articles and e-books on business success strategies. He also writes the Business Success Strategies Blog.

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