Most family businesses don’t look like ‘Succession.’ Here’s what America’s enterprising families bring to the table

Image a family-owned enterprise. Right this moment, your first thought may be Waystar RoyCo, the corporate on the middle of HBO’s Succession. Its founder, Logan Roy, is a self-made however brutal and egotistical patriarch whose youngsters battle for future management of the corporate. It’s riveting tv, and whereas it’s true that some household corporations have drama that ends in bitter household feuds, for the roughly 32.4 million family-owned companies in America, the story is often very totally different.

As an alternative of specializing in the household drama of a fictional firm, it is best to mirror on the businesses which might be a part of your on a regular basis life, out of your native diner staffed by three generations of 1 household to the worldwide manufacturers you acknowledge which might be managed by multi-generational households, similar to Constancy Investments, Mars, or Chick-fil-A. All of those household companies are the heartbeat of our financial system and contribute meaningfully to our lives.

Eighty-seven % of American companies are family-owned or managed. They characterize 54% of U.S. GDP and 59% of employment, which means family-owned companies straight have an effect on greater than half of U.S. staff. They’re additionally increasing; PWC discovered that 86% of such companies anticipate to see development within the subsequent yr as they tackle new shoppers and introduce new merchandise.

These statistics substantiate the central however usually neglected position households play within the capital, enterprise, and societal infrastructure of our nation and the worldwide financial system. Their position and attain go nicely past financial output and employment. In rural areas, it’s household corporations that present native incomes, generate native wealth, and join communities to the bigger financial system. What’s extra, family-based companies perceive the significance of giving again. Along with their philanthropy, they usually play a vital management position in neighborhood tasks and civic associations.

The entrepreneurial financial system is pushed by households. The overwhelming majority of corporations are began within the dwelling, by folks following their desires of self-employment and searching for management of their very own destinies. Household companies are sometimes drivers of the American Dream: An MIT research that discovered immigrant households usually tend to begin a enterprise than native-born Individuals and make use of extra staff than corporations began by these born right here. Creating a non-public enterprise turns these getting into the nation into job creators, setting in movement a sustainable future for his or her households and communities.

Whereas the caricatures that Succession perpetuates about household companies aren’t precisely correct, it will possibly certainly be tough to maintain and develop multi-generational corporations.

Succession presents challenges which might be distinctive to each household, chief amongst which is navigating household relationships. If households dream of getting their firm and wealth creation proceed throughout generations, the primary technology should start laying that basis early within the lifetime of a enterprise, and in the event that they haven’t, the present technology should begin the work as quickly as potential. Succession planning is just not an end-of-life endeavor, however reasonably, a business-building endeavor. Generational success requires investing in each the enterprise and the household relationships to make sure that a brand new set of members of the family are ready to proceed development–and are unified on technique.

I prefer to name these growth-minded households who need to create generational wealth “enterprising households.” An enterprising household doesn’t simply concentrate on the continuity of a specific enterprise to maintain their life-style (although that could be a nice consequence). They search for methods and partnerships to speed up the expansion of their companies and of their wealth creation, which in flip, will hopefully strengthen bonds throughout the household unit.

Once you consider a family-owned enterprise, don’t cease at Waystar RoyCo. Image the impression all household companies, massive and small, have on each the financial system and our communities. Image the success every of those corporations brings to these round it.

By making certain family-owned companies can proceed to thrive at the moment, we assure that much more can see the sunshine tomorrow.

Andy Unanue is the founder and managing associate of AUA Personal Fairness Companions.

The opinions expressed in Fortune.com commentary items are solely the views of their authors and don’t essentially mirror the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.

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