The real power and opportunity of family business lies in the Community Developer quadrant. Entrepreneurs, who become successful family business owners will invest in real estate and other businesses, and as a result develop their communities. What would your community look like if YOU developed it? What problems would YOU solve? What would be YOUR priorities?
Let's deal with the first few objections that may come to mind when I suggest that YOUR FAMILY should become the community developer where you live. You may be thinking:
It's why there are so many political parties, philosophies, wars, associations, opposing social groups and more. There are political, economic and social messages coming your way everyday to answer the question for you.
That's a question you must answer as an entrepreneur and family business owner. It will affect the way you think about and approach business, and how you relate to your community, which is critical to your success in business.
Here are just two examples:
1. If access to fair housing in your community is difficult, you may pursue legislative change only, rather than buy real estate investments and become the landlord in your community that provides fair housing.
2. If students in your community are not attending college because they don't have access to adequate financial aid or scholarships, you may refer them to existing non-profits or you might start a scholarship fund based on a percent of the profits you make and help.
That's not to say that there isn't room for non-profit, public and corporate partnerships. There should be.
It's about your mindset. Do you believe your family should take the lead on solving social and community problems or is that authority automatically for others?
A great family business owner knows how to delegate. It makes sense to delegate projects or to refer to other agencies or organizations as needed. Making referrals is different from always taking the back seat to opportunities to develop your community. The mindset about where the right authority lies is what makes this difference.
There are countries where freedoms to act this way is not available. However, that does not prohibit you from thinking this way, and always being ready to act as the opportunities arise. Things change. Power changes hands. Will your family and family business be ready?
Stay tuned. More on this in future posts.