Do you know what family business looks like? I find that most people don’t.

Family businesses thrive around the world and yet, there seems to be a misnomer that they are always small. When traveling, one of my passions is to find and experience family-owned businesses in the area. And I can tell you firsthand, they aren’t necessarily small businesses. In fact, they exist in all sorts and sizes—single storefronts, multiple locations, family enterprises, and franchises. Gyms and restaurants, beachfront activities, escape room experiences, insurance agencies, and manufacturers. The Business of Family Business starts with people and an idea—just like any business. Whether it was an eager entrepreneur or a couple of related partners, success is never guaranteed and hard work is assured.

As I highlighted in my book Beyond the Name: Preserving Love, Legacy and Leadership in your Family Business, 64% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 62% of employment in the United States is directly related to family business. While 30% of family businesses will survive into the second generation, only 12% will make it to the third generation and just 3% survive into the 4th.

Family business and entrepreneurialism are at the core of who I am. My grandfather was a self-employed doctor, my mother owned a flower shop and I owe a large part of the foundation of my leadership to the many leaders of a large privately-held, family-owned retail company who invested in me continuously. The outcome has been my own privately-held, family-owned business.

The Business of Family Business can often offer a unique perspective on company dynamics. As such, I want to begin sharing some of my experiences with these businesses in a quarterly Business of Family Business Profile. These aren’t my clients and yet in some cases, they may be my clients. Each of the businesses are experienced differently and uniquely based on the industry in which they exist.

The purpose isn’t to endorse. Nor is it to review. Instead, the intent is to bring awareness to the unique aspects of companies that are often overlooked or misunderstood. I find the companies that will be profiled highly unique and differentiating in the experiences they create for their customers or clients. Perhaps you will as well.

By increasing awareness about each of these unique, family-owned businesses and the positive experiences they deliver, it’s my belief that you may want to experience them as well. So that if you ever find yourself in a city where I have highlighted one of these businesses, you may decide to experience The Business of Family Business for yourself.

The first profile will be released later this month so be on the lookout.

Have you had experience with a family-owned business in your area? I want to hear about it in the comments.

Make it a great week,

Get the next Thoughtwave delivered straight to your inbox.