Family businesses should employ more family members

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Everyone does it. They do it all over the country. And the world. Whether a family business is in a city, suburb, township or informal settlement, they all employ family members.

In fact, before the advent of corporations, many businesses were family owned and they employed their family members.

The beauty of a family business is that you can draw employees from a wide range, including sons and daughters, extended family including nephews and nieces, or aunts and uncles, and even stepfamily members.

In these times when job opportunities are scarce and when certain people have doors shut in their face because of who they are, family businesses are providing job opportunities on a greater scale.

Of course, any family business needs specialist outsiders, and they are happy to employ them when required. Everyone knows it would be stupid to only employ family members.

But not all family members want to go into a family businesses. Some of their sons and daughters have emigrated to start new lives outside of the country.

I know of one successful business where the owner died this year and his son and daughter, who are in the professions, have no interest in running the business. His wife, who is also at an advanced age, has decided to soldier on and keep the business running.

Before you scoff at family businesses, remember that some family businesses that are still running today were started over 100 years ago.

Remember too, that many successful family businesses eventually sell out to reap the rewards of their success. Often, this has been to the giant corporations who have brought the business into their operation and tried to keep that family ethos going. However, many are unsuccessful at this.

One family-owned business that I thought about now was sold to new shareholders and is now listed on the local stock exchange.

This brings me to a very important point. And that is succession in a family business. As I mentioned earlier, if there are no more family members or their offspring to run the business, then it needs to be sold off. I’ve witnessed many smaller family-owned businesses close down and shut up shop because there is no one to continue with the business.

There’s a lot more to family businesses than I’ve covered here, but the point that I wish to make is that in these times, they are very, very important vehicles for job creation.

The family business and its important role in job creation, whether for minorities (local or foreign) or majorities, should be lauded for its achievements.

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