7 Tips for Running a Family Business


7 Tips for Running a Family Business

The number of family businesses, those with a primary owner who is related to the primary owner, is greater than the number of non-family businesses. About half of all companies are family-owned and -operated. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, about 80 percent of family businesses survive into the second generation, and about 50 percent make it to the third generation.

A family business has unique challenges that non-family businesses do not face, including the relationships among family members. The best way for a family business to succeed is for the owner to include as many family members as possible in the business. This can be a blessing and a curse, but if family members are involved, the business has better odds of success.

The best way to run a family business is for the owner to bring as many family members into the company as possible.

Father George Rutler, family business expert and pastor of St. Michael the Archangel church in New York City. He has founded a number of companies, including a publishing business and an advertising agency. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Oxford University, where he earned a doctorate in English literature. Father Rutler is a member of the Catholic Writers’ Guild and a commentator for EWTN. He recently released the book, “How to Succeed in Business through Family Harmony”.

For those considering starting a family business, here are seven key things to keep in mind.

1. Have a good team in place: Having positive relationships and communicating is crucial for any business to succeed. If the family wants to be involved in the business, then everyone needs to know how he or she is going to contribute and what to expect from others. Setting those expectations is key to success.

2. Be willing to sacrifice: The company is not just one person; it belongs to everyone who is involved. If a family member isn’t willing to work as much as the others, or if he or she is not willing to make sacrifices for the company, then the partnership will fail.

3. Establish ownership in advance: Management styles vary, but everyone in the family should have an input into how the company is run.

4. Know your limitations: People sometimes think that they can do everything themselves. But a company is only as good as its weakest part, so it’s vital to delegate responsibilities.

5. Set a plan for how family members can contribute to the company and who will be responsible for what.

6. Have family meetings: Discussing issues with the family helps everyone get on the same page. Keep personal and business separate: The company is not just one person; it belongs to all.

7. Be patient: Building a family business takes time. Many family businesses last for generations.
How to Succeed in Business Through Family Harmony, by Father George Rutler is available from Ascension Press and Amazon. His book “How to succeed in business through family harmony” explains how to help your family members work together in harmony through the success of your business.