If you have a family business, you might have hopes of passing this business to your children and grandchildren someday. But, unfortunately, your younger generation might not appreciate the business the way you do.
They might choose their own paths. So to keep the business in the family, you’ll have to show these youngsters the benefits of continuing the family legacy.
Here are a few ways to help your children appreciate and cherish the family business.
1. Discuss the Benefits of Being Their Own Boss
Many young adults don’t fully appreciate the benefits of having a family business. But if you can help them appreciate the differences between business owners and employees, they might come to cherish the business.
For example, business owners enjoy a type of flexibility that employees don’t. This flexibility gives them the opportunity to take vacations throughout the year, and it’s easier for them to rearrange their schedules so they’re able to attend events at their child’s school. Some business owners work fewer hours yet earn more than most full-time employees, plus some can set their own schedules.
Children and young adults may not fully appreciate the benefits of a flexible schedule. Help them appreciate that if it weren’t for the family business, you wouldn’t have any freedom or flexibility. They’ll lose this privilege working for someone else.
2. Focus on the Stability of the Family Business
There’s no such thing as true job security. A family business can shut down during poor economic times just like any other company. But for the most part, paving our own way and owning a business can offer more stability than being an employee at a company.
Help your children grasp how they can lose their jobs without any notice. On the other hand, working for the family business can provide extra security. Since they’ll likely earn more as an owner, there’s an opportunity to build a larger cash cushion. And, unlike employees who can’t control how much they earn, working for the family business can potentially result in unlimited income since there’s always the opportunity to grow the company.
3. Focus on Their Interests
Some children hesitate joining the family business because they’re not interested in the type of work. This is understandable. But in many cases, their skills – whatever these might be – can also benefit the family business.
Let’s say the family owns a heating and air conditioning company. Your child may not be interested in this line of work, but is instead interested in journalism. If so, he might join the family business and use his skills to run the company’s blog, website and social media accounts.
4. Introduce Children to the Business at a Young Age
If you want your children to cherish the family business, make sure they have a role in the business at an early age. Instead of your child getting a job at a retail store or at McDonald’s, maybe he can come into the office after school and help with administrative work. Your child can begin learning different aspects of the business, which can stimulate his or her interest.
5. Discuss the History or Background of the Company
Once your children realizes the hard work it took to grow the business, he might cherish it more. If the business has been around since your children were very young, they may not recall your early struggles to get the company off the ground. Tell them exactly what you or their grandparents had to sacrifice to start the business. Also, help them understand how fortunate they are. All the preliminary work has been done for them. All they have to do is learn the business and help it flourish.
A family business is an opportunity to work alongside your relatives, and it gives the family an opportunity to enjoy entrepreneurship. Initially, your children might have little interest. But if you find a role in the company based on their interests, and if they’re involved in the business at an early age, their appreciation will grow and they’ll be happy to take over the company someday.