The dynamics of businesses and entrepreneurship globally vary on numerous factors, irrespective of location, services, or size. However, when we look at family-owned businesses, we start to see emerging patterns that either contribute to its success or failure. Let’s look closer at the family-owned business model to unpack its successes.

Characteristics of a Successful Family-Owned Business

A successful family-owned business is a business where capacity is continually expanded. Capacity is expanded through investment in physical assets and human capital to create results they truly desire, where new ideas, thought processes, and thinking are nurtured. The Stakeholder, Directors; Shareholders, and Management teams are continuously learning to see the company vision together. In order to succeed against rivals and be part of a successful family-owned business unit, the businesses need to tap into their people’s commitment; passion, and capacity at all levels, i.e. from the security guard to the Directors.

1. Systems Thinking

The culture of the enterprise is built one conversation at a time and documented as a reference for future and current employees in Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), i.e. induction handbooks and organograms.

2. Personal Mastery

Nurturing and coaching the “people commitment” at the different levels of the hierarchy of the family-owned business and identifying talent that can be further harnesses for the business.

3. Mental Models

Successful family-owned businesses are transformational in their leadership style and leaders have a high level of emotional intelligence.

4. Shared Vision

A shared vision creates a ‘learning identity’, that provides focus and energy to a common outcome, that is beneficial to the stakeholders of the family-owned business.

5. Team Learning

Team and shared learning, develop problem-solving techniques, through better access to practical case studies of the family-owned business. Successful family-owned businesses, do so in reducing the failure rate with ‘leadership foresight’. These leaders are of high emotional intelligence, they are not confrontational in nature. They are coaches and mentors in their team, developing their own coaching and people management skills for the sustainability of the family-owned business, and building lasting relationships within and outside of the business. It starts at the top.