Family businesses have been around for thorough out history, and some of the most iconic brands have started as family-owned companies. Family businesses refer to businesses where one or more family members own and control the company and are continued down multiple generations. Family businesses are a smart way to start a new venture while retaining control over its growth.
Startup Tips for Developing a Family-Owned Business
Starting family-owned companies take significant effort and business planning. But if done right, they can grow and become successful ventures.
- Start with a business plan: The first step for starting a business is laying the groundwork for it. This means deciding roles, the level of involvement needed, compensation, and who reports to.
- Map out funding: If family members are putting in their own money for seed funding, it’s essential to recognize their contribution to the family business.
- Have an outside source: While it might be tempting to keep everything in the family, external sources for advice and guidance are necessary. They can take on a neutral role and provide insight without potentially 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 lot of risk of issues, egos, and rocky relationships moving forward. Unfortunately, many family businesses often fall victim to this, so it’s crucial to preserve relationships as much as possible while developing the business.
- Giving family members preferential treatment: As businesses grow, it’s crucial to keep accountability and equality. Nonfamily members should not be treated any differently than family, so no special treatment or personal interests are involved.
- Not having a succession plan: As family members retire or pursue other ventures, having a succession process can help reduce issues for the people involved. In addition, creating clear rules for 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 in. For children who want to be involved, ensure they have opportunities for outside experience. Let them decide what departments they would like to participate in based on skill sets.
13 Amazing Family Businesses
Most family businesses are successful when they have a great idea in a specific niche. If you’re thinking about starting a family business or a small business, there are many amazing ideas to pursue. We’ll go through profitable and fun 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 flair for celebrations around special occasions such as baby showers, graduations, weddings, and more.
2. Pet Sitting
Pet sitting can be an excellent idea for family members who love animals and want to make some money. You can start with your neighborhood to grow your client base and build your reputation.
3. College Consulting
If you like the prospect of working with other families and helping high school students, college consulting could be a great idea. You could work with prospective students to help them select colleges, put together applications and provide guidance around their college essays.
4. Plant Nursery
If your family members have a green thumb and love plants, why not start a plant nursery? You could start with indoor office and home plants, sell them around your area before growing, and even offer outdoor plants.
5. Start an Online Store
As a family firm, you could also start an online store and sell products. You may need to invest some money initially in sourcing the right types of products based on interests. However, as you grow the business, you will have less debt, and your online business could prove to be a profitable idea.
6. Errand Service
If you’re looking for business ideas that don’t require a ton of company money, you could also start an errand business. This could include basic tasks such as picking up dry cleaning, quick shopping trips, and anything people in the neighborhood need help with.
7. Farmers Market Vendor
You can also work with family members to sell produce and products at farmers’ markets for extra cash. You can create a local brand for your products for your family business idea and set up a stall at the farmers’ market to sell to new customers with the entire family.
8. Cleaning Business
Depending on the area, many family-controlled enterprises have gone into commercial and residential cleaning. You can offer cleaning services to offices and homes at reasonable hourly rates or package deals and volume discounts for larger clients.
9. Auto Detailing
If there are family members who have the right skills, auto detailing can prove to be a profitable business. Customers are always looking for reliable and affordable auto detailing services, so you could grow a solid customer base.
10. Child Care Service
As more people work from home or have hybrid working hours, child care has become more in demand. You could start a daycare 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 could start your own business by offering tour guide services. You could create special guided tours based on historical significance, adventure tours, and more, depending on what the area has to offer.
12. Bed and Breakfast
If you have a suitable location, you could start a bed and breakfast for visitors. Many family business starting ideas are in the hospitality sector, and a B&B could be a low-cost 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 seeking out local produce and fruit, and it’s also a good business the next generation can pick up. You can spend time growing in-demand fruits and vegetables and sell them in local markets.
- READ MORE: Small Business Ideas for Beginners
Are Family-Owned Businesses Profitable?
As a small business, a family business can be immensely profitable. Many family-owned companies have grown to be huge, such as Walmart, and there is a lot of value creation with these kinds of businesses. The Harvard Business Review found that family businesses play a significant role in contributing to the world economy.
What’s the Best Family-Owned Business to Start?
The best family business ventures are generally based on existing talent and skills family members may have. If you’re looking to start a successful company, an online store or a small farm could be successful. However, if there are specific skills family members have, small businesses can be built off of that as well.
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