The Vault July 2012: Family business
If you’re a kid with a great business idea, chances are your family will figure in somewhere. Whether it’s an investment from your parents or a partnership with your sibling, BizKid$ presents tips and tricks for navigating the family business.
Videos of the month
See what would happen if a certain black-helmeted space lord had pitched his family business a bit differently to his “rebel” son. Next, check out a family funeral business and learn about why they made a plan to keep the hearses rolling after the founder passes away.
What is a family business?
The strict definition of a family business is a business where two people from the same family have a controlling interest. But for BizKid$, it’s any time a family member is involved. That can mean:
  • Your parents give you a loan—and expect you to pay it back.
  • You turn to a family member for advice on a regular basis.
  • Someone in your family opens a bank account for you.
  • You and your brother or sister run  the business together.
  • A family member hires you to work in their existing business.
A strong family can make for a strong business, and families can grow closer as they work toward a common goal.
  • You understand each other, so you might not have to work so hard to communicate.
  • You’re often together, so there’s lots of time to deal with business issues.
  • You care about each other and (hopefully) have each other’s best interests at heart
Family and business can both be stressful—and combining them can make them even more so.
  • Personal feelings are more likely to get wrapped up in business decisions. Bring in a neutral third party if necessary.
  • Family finances can sometimes be in conflict with good business decisions. Find and trust a good accountant to help.
  • Disagreements may be harder to manage. Have a process in place to deal with them fairly.
Famous family businesses
  • Some people say mixing business with family is a bad idea, but the Waltonsmight disagree. They own 49% of Walmart and have a net worth of more than $100 billion.
  • The company that makes Windex, S.C. Johnson, has been privately owned by the Johnson family for more than 100 years.
  • Mars, Incorporated, manufacturer of M&Ms and Orbit gum, is the fifth largest privately held business in the United States and is 100% owned by the Mars family.
Posted in Biz Kid$ News