Family-owned businesses are possibly the oldest form of business organization. In urban settings it was once normal for a shopkeeper or doctor to live in the same building in which he or she worked, and family members often helped with the family-owned businesses as needed. Modern day businesses have changed dramatically in response to improvements in transport, technology and a change in the way we communicate and interact with one another due to the rise of social media and the creation of the internet. With many families richer than entire countries the global marketplace would simply not be the same without family-owned businesses.
If Wal-Mart were a country, its revenues would make it on par with the GDP of the 25th largest economy in the world by, surpassing 157 smaller countries and other major global economies including Australia, South Korea and India.
Whilst many people think of the emotionally-charged family mindset as a barrier to business success, however, our research suggests that families can be better-equipped to maintain long-term business success than traditionally understood. These families have clearly found a way to get along and have proved they are superior in leading in generational transition in comparison to businesses without family ties.
So, what have these families done differently to achieve such success while maintaining family control? Family unity? A shared vision? A driving desire to prepare for the next generation? Honestly, there is no one clear answer. What we do know, is that family ties continue to prove beneficial in creating a successful business and some of their stories are simply inspirational. For example, Novartis has delivered more than 450 million medicines for Malaria, without profit and this medication has saved more than a million lives in more than 60 nations.
Alternatively, the story of Henry ford, who designed his first moving assembly line in 1913. This assembly line went onto become the benchmark for mass production methods around the world and revolutionised modern-day factories. Ever thought of opening your own family business? Well, get inspired by 10 of the most successful families!