Having a family business can serve as a wealth-building tool because the profits earned can benefit the family for generations. In addition, the family business allows members to use their talents for a common goal, which promotes sacrifice and compromise in the family. The types of businesses depend on the family's ideas, the business's viability to the community and the family's funding. For example, a family may want to open a barbershop because members have the necessary skills and because there is a need for one in the neighborhood; or if a family doesn't have enough funds for a pizza parlor, it may decide to open an ice cream parlor and later expand as profits increase.
The restaurant is a common family business, and is a venture in which everyone can take part. For example, the father can be responsible for the bookkeeping and payroll while the mother is in charge of preparing the restaurant's menu for customers and overseeing the staff. Their adult children can be kitchen workers or managers of the establishment. Another benefit of a family-owned restaurant is that the family can provide new ideas.
Retail outlets are also popular family-owned businesses. For example, a family-owned grocery store often provides needed jobs for the community and services that customers can't get in chain stores. The grocery store butcher may offer regional meats that customers need for specific dishes, and the store owner may offer discounts for senior citizens and military families.
In cases where several family members work in the medical field, it's possible that they can come together and open a clinic. For example, a dentist whose three children are also dentists could own a practice. This allows the adult children to work for their relatives while building wealth for future generations. In addition, grandchildren may benefit from discounted or free dental services.
Family-owned beauty salons are also common. These allow family members to hone their hairdressing skills in addition to the training they receive at a vocational school. Because some of the family members may know people in the neighborhood they serve, they're able to build connections that could increase the clientele.
Thea Theresa English is a freelance writer who lives in New Orleans. She has written articles on career development, maintaining healthy relationships, politics and cultural issues. She is currently a graduate student at Tulane University where she will receive her Master of Liberal Arts degree.