Ownership Burden

There is a common perception that family business owners have many advantages and privileges.The general public does not have an idea of how the following burdens of family business ownership can be challenging and daunting.

Money: Most people think that family business owners are rich. The reality is that many family business owners are an insecure and vulnerable lot as many pledge their personal assets to fund the business.The business would flourish but the money invested is not readily accessible to meet pressing familial needs.

Investment of time, attention, emotional energy and every other personal resource: Family business owners struggle to cope with the competing demands / needs of family and business, often leading to stressful situations. Members not actively engaged in business tend to overlook the emotional strain and presume that members managing the business would derive substantial benefits. 

Meeting the aspirations of family members not actively involved in business: Members in charge of business run the risk of damaging the reputation and legacy of the organization if they commit any mistake or blunder. 

Time taken to preserve family unity and strengthen family team to ensure continuity: Members involved in business have to walk the extra mile by putting in efforts to preserve family unity which reflects on
business continuity.

Continued ownership raises concern for future generations: Sustained involvement and commitment in family business is a challenge during generational transition.

Responsibility to employees: There is inevitably a personal involvement in all matters relating to the employees as family business members are personally involved in recruitment, training and employee welfare activities.

Dealing with community expectation: Relationships may be strained when community expectations are not met due to the funds being locked up in business.

Conflict of interest issues: Family members working in business may often have to ignore self-enriching opportunities as it will set a bad precedent for future generations.

Conflict with spouses: Marrying into a business family can be quite stressful especially for a spouse who is not exposed to such culture as the social life could be quite demanding. Their personal life may alter dramatically after marriage and they would have to adapt to the changed lifestyle quickly.

Despite all these negative factors it will still be worthwhile to run a family business as, in the long run, all these challenges and burdens binds the family together.

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