Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Family Business Owner Quadrant Explained - Daphne Mallory's Family Business Quadrant

Each word in the Family-Business-Owner Quadrant counts. Let's begin with the word "Family."

Who is Your "Family"?

There are many ways to define a family, and it's important to think about each as you're planning your family business. Here are some options:
  • Blood relatives (parents, children)
  • Related by marriage
  • Related by adoption
  • Lineage (ex: Liberian family)
  • Spiritual (ex: fellow Christians)
  • Living together in a household
  • Belonging to the same tribe
  • A group who shares common attitudes, interests or goals
Why is this important?

Some of you want to start a family business, but your blood relatives do not share your entrepreneurial mindset. Perhaps they're not ready or have little interest in running a family business. They may be separated from you, and live in another country. There might be other circumstances that make it impossible to start a family business with your parents or children. Thinking hard about the definition of family and how it relates to your dreams, desires and goals is an important first step to planning your family business. Your family is critical to your success. Therefore, your business must be built around who you believe your family is.

What is a Business?

My definition of business is not out a text book. It's not a job or career. It's not just the exchange of goods and services for money. While the rewards are many in family business, it's not at the root of what it means to be a family business owner. Here's the definition of business I'd like you to think about as you're building yours:
"Business is your duty and responsibility to improve the quality of life for everyone in your sphere of influence, beginning with your family, through creativity, innovation, service and job creation, as well as economic and social development."  -- Daphne Mallory
There are no limits to the financial rewards available to faithful family business owners. You are not an evil person if you aspire to build a business worth a billion dollars. We need more of that. You're not a slacker if for now, you just want your family business to pay your bills. The choice is yours.

What Does it Mean to be an Owner?

Your goals should be to own your family business and not have it own you. In the early stages, you will feel overworked as you fulfill many roles. From the beginning, you should invest your time and resources in a strategic plan that promotes a team running the day to day of your business. You want to be the strategist and visionary for your business...eventually. Your team will include family, and soon, non-family members. As the owner, you'll have more time to seek strategic partnerships, invest in real estate, volunteer for community organization, build a family where they are number one, and more. A strategic plan is NOT a business plan. Focus on the vision and goals of your family and then your business. 

Don't wait to begin the planning process for becoming a family business owner. It takes time to learn, grow and to become a business family. Subscribe to this blog for more tips and strategies. Our blog community is a family too.

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