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BLOG: Myths of Family Business (cont.)

By April 4, 2014News & Announcements2 min read

Myth #3 – Family businesses are forever
This third myth, sadly, is not true. Businesses, especially family-operated ones, are rather fragile.  Roughly two thirds of family owned and controlled businesses do not survive the founder’s generation.  What happens to them?

They sell out, they merge, they close their doors, they quietly disappear.  Sometimes their ownership simply becomes dispersed so far beyond the original family group that they become, in effect, public enterprises.  The point is, family businesses aren’t forever.

Myth #4 – Family business heirs are privileged
Well, in the interest of full disclosure, it must be conceded that some family enterprise leaders do seem to rub some people the wrong way.  Unfortunately, their bold, confident personalities can often get more attention than the great progress they’re making with their company.

But so what? Bold (and sometime irritating) personalities certainly aren’t exclusive to family businesses.  Our experience is that family business heirs are at least as likely to be capable, hard-working and well-intentioned as the next person.  In fact, not all family business heirs are just handed the keys to the front office after graduating from college.  Sometimes, like the rest of us, they start in the “mail room” and work their way up to the president’s office.

Some people may want to make it look like a bad thing when a business is run by members of the family who own it.  The truth is, they’re intimately invested in the success of their company. They have real “skin in the game,” and are often just as (if not more) dedicated to their profession as a non-family business professional.