Family businesses [Business nuggets] – Business

Most of the successful brands in the world are products of family business.  In a country that has a high rate of unemployment and underemployment; unemployed graduates and under employed  graduates can go on to start up a family business or develop an already existing family business for continuity and expansion. 

 Family Businesses

The famous quote that says “charity begins at home” and “two heads are better than one” explains how important unity of purpose will lead to the continuity and expansion of a family business when there is an agreement.

A business that is established and run by a family is a family business. A business that has been bought by a family is also a family business. 

This form of business is the most lucrative type of business. Most business organisations in Nigeria are products of family business. Most of the successful brands in the world are products of family business. 

Someone said that politics is also a family business, especially, when all the members of a family are holding the most sensitive positions in government.  

Continuity is the essence of a family business. The parents establish this business in order for the children to have something to hold unto, something to develop and expand.

Read Also: Financial ethics:Savings

play

Samsung Family

(Financial Times)

 

Antecedent

In the Eastern part of Nigeria, most of the  influential and affluent entrepreneurs established businesses were run by the entire family. Before Education was accepted by the Igbos, an entire family will go to the “shade” to go and sell. Even when the children are back from school, they head to the shop to assist the parents till the close of work.

In the Igbo culture, there is no specific time for the close of work. We close for the day as soon as the last customer leaves the shop, regardless of the time. We can do anything for money. The children will stay in the shop and work on their assignment from school, have lunch and apparently, dinner, depending on the “close of work”. 

Over time, the children learn this trade and it becomes a part of them and they grow up into taking over the business and expanding it.

Commercial Markets

For example, in some commercials markets like Ariaira Market and Onitsha Market, you see a full family, engaging in trade. You enter a shop and you see the father and mother. You ask for a particular commodity and the father refers you to his son’s shop who sells the same commodity but in variety. Of course, the name of the business will be Emeka & Sons Business Enterprise. Isn’t this beautiful?

Back then, most men don’t allow their wives to work in other business establishment.  They insist that their wives work in their factories and they place them on salary. Even now.

Continuity?

The beauty of family business is not about the continuity but about the unity of purpose by a family. Because of how dynamic the world is, something new becomes old tomorrow and new ideas and ways of doing things keep coming up. When a father involves his children in his business, he expects them to bring new ideas on how to expand the business, diversify and break away from the status quo.

In the time of our parents, social media was not yet known. In our time, social media has become our tool for marketing,  advertising, recruiting,  buying and selling, etc. In the time of our children,  something new will be introduced. 

Nobody can fully understand and execute your business vision as much as you do. Not even your best friend. Your children understand the vision of this business much more than your manager who has worked with you for more than 11 years.

Even when your children don’t go the office all the time, they see all the plans you make for the business and your aspiration for the business.  They know how much money,  time and prayer that you put into that business. They feel your hunger for more. They understand the sacrifices you make just for the business. The understand the fact that, the business pays their school fees, feeds them and provides all that they need.

Will a child consider these factors and still go on to cheat on the family business by falsifying figures and documents and conspiring with the manager to do away with some money?

Won’t these factors make him to be more grounded in the business and spend some time to understand the business and oversee the business? 

Charity begins at home

Go out there and work for a company.  Gather the knowledge and exposure you have received from working with them and bring it back home to the family business. Remember, Charity begins at home. 

It is perfectly okay if your child decides not to go into a particular family business because he has no interest in that line  of business. At least, he has declared his intention to you ahead of time and you can’t actually force anyone to do what you are doing when it’s not their forte. 

The dangers of a family business should always be emphasised because most people are so silent and casual about it.

When the children don’t have sufficient knowledge of the business of their father, it destroys everything he has ever worked for. Also, when the partner does not have enough knowledge about the business, money and document will be easily manipulated without the notice of the beneficiaries. 

Read Also: Business ethics


America's richest family
play

America’s richest family

(Jobs With Justice)

 

It is advisable for parents to communicate the vision of their business to their children and make sure they understand it and make themselves useful to the business whenever they are back home for the Christmas Break, Easter Break or Summer Holiday. Wives should also endeavour to learn the basics of their husband’s business so that, in the event of death or any eventuality, they will be able to take over the business and make you it soar and expand.

Hiring an auditor or a manger to run your husband’s company after his death is very risky, especially, when he is dead. 

That is why, most women end up confused and frustrated when their husband die and they don’t know how to run his business that they had no knowledge about.  

Husbands too should endeavour to learn the basis of their wives business. Understanding the basis will help in the course of any eventuality. Even if you end up employing a manager, you won’t be taken by surprise because you understand the business perfectly well.

Having an idea of the cost of materials,  the cost of producing one and the cost of selling one and also, the contact details of some people and places that will aid in the production of goods and services of the business is enough. 

Even if your wife is a baker, i am not telling you to go into baking with your wife  (except you decide you), but just learn the basics.

Wal-Mart example

Wal-Mart is a family business that is owned by the Walton family of Sam Walton and it is ran by two brothers; Bob and Jim Walton, their sister, Alice,  sister in law, Christy, cousins and some other members of the family who have become billionaires from just being part of the business.

There used to be a time when Wal-Mart made it to the Forbes list and the three of the children were listed as one of the richest men in America and one of the richest men in the world and every yearWal-Mart has always been listed as one of the richest companies in the world.  But Walmart started like a very small store or “shade” as we call it in Nigeria.  

As of January 31,2018, there were 3,561 Wal-Mart Supercentres in 49 out of 50 states in the United States,  the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Is this not progress?

Read Also: Building good business relationships


Mike Adenuga. Chairman Globacom and Conoil
play

Mike Adenuga. Chairman Globacom and Conoil

(gistreel.com)

 

Genevieve Magazine is a family business. 

Zest Marbles is a family business. 

Mike Adenuga group of companies is a family business. 

Cakes by Tosan is a family business.  

Virgin Atlantic is a family business.  

Channels TV is a family business.  

DAAR Communications (i.e., AIT & RAY Power) is a family business.  

Saclux Paint is a family business

God is Good Motors is a family business.  

Nike is a family business that is owned by the Knights Family; Phil Knight and his son,  Travis. 

Samsung Electronics is owned by the Lee Family and it is run by the chairman Lee Kun-Hee and his daughters Lee Boo-Jin and Lee Seo Hyun. 

Oracle is owned by the Ellison family.  

There are a lot of well known business organisations in Nigeria that are family businesses. 

Conclusion

It will be difficult to end this article without clearly stating that my intention of this business post is to motivate small family businesses to take this business very serious, involve your children with it and dream bigger that one day,your businesses will be globally recognised as a perfect  module of a family business, because you decided to take this a step further.

I also write this to also encourage the already big family business to keep it up and challenge the status quo. 

The popular saying; charity begins at home; explains how important it is to work for your family business. 

In the words of the Dettol advert; 

If I  don’t take care of them, who will?

Written by Chukwuma Aguwa

Chukwuma Aguwa is an undergraduate law student at Benson Idahosa University,  Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria.  Chukwuma is an Entrepreneur, Business Consultant and Business Blogger. Contact; [email protected]

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