7 Pitfalls to Avoid When Running a Family Business

Entrepreneurship is rarely easy but also having family in the mix can add multiple layers of complexity – barriers and challenges that your competitors may not be burdened with. That said, the unique dynamics of a family-run business can also result in extraordinary success as evidenced by Wal-Mart, BMW, Ford and Tyson – all highly accomplished family firms. For this reason and others, the ‘family business’ trend is flourishing. In fact, recent reports reveal that family-owned companies comprise between 80 and 90 percent of businesses worldwide, generating a staggering estimated $6.5 trillion in annual sales – “enough to be the third largest economy in the world (behind the U.S. and China)” as cited in the report.

What’s also fascinating is that The Global Family Business Index, a compilation of the largest 500 family firms around the globe intended to exemplify the economic power and relevance of family firms worldwide, found that 44 percent are owned by fourth generation or older family members. These companies are in it for the long haul and have clearly realized the kind of sustained success needed to withstand the test of

One major component of long term success among family businesses is simply knowing how to navigate and circumvent personal relationships in order to work together effectively, while also maintaining positive perceptions and overall integrity with non-related staffers. Achieving all of this, while tending to “standard” business issues, can be daunting at best and a death knell for far too many.

With this in mind, here’s a list of seven pitfalls to avoid—all of which can cause an assortment of strife: from uncomfortable family friction to completely tearing a family and business apart.

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About the Author

Brian GreenbergBrian Greenberg is a multi-faceted entrepreneur who has founded and now spearheads multiple online businesses. He currently co-owns and operates three entrepreneurial companies with his father, Elliott Greenberg, which have each flourished for over 10 years: www.WholesaleJanitorialSupply.com, www.TouchFreeConcepts.com and www.TrueBlueLifeInsurance.com.

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