Starting a Family Business

Family business is a type of small business venture that is defined as an enterprise with a small number of employees, usually run by moms and pops, or the heads of the family. Starting one entails perseverance, a certain background on the actual business you might want to set up and a uniqueness in the form of service or product.

“It’s a mom-and-pop operation.”?

That’s what they usually say when people comment on family owned businesses – and its true. Family owned small business venture is defined as an enterprise with a small number of employees, usually run by moms and pops, or the heads of the family. The term “small” (in small number of employees) is a relative word, which depending on the country, means basically any where from 2 to 100 employees. Family businesses ideas can be typical trades that sell products like bakeries, convenience stores and delicatessens; or it can be a typical like boat-making shops, child care business, family business breeding dogs, or hobby shops, etc. Other business can be service oriented like hairdressers, lawyers, photographers, proprietors of guest houses, restaurants, child care, solicitors, tradesmen, etc. All these mom-and-pop operations share one thing though: they are all independent or privately owned companies.

Starting a micro-business entails perseverance. Not every family owned business venture of this size actually makes enough profit to sustain them in one year’s worth of operation. However, if you would like to start your own family business, make sure that you have that drive to push this through. It isn’t just an investment of money – its also investing a lot of time and effort into the business.

A small barbershop may not seem much to you, but consider this: locating a place of business; balancing payments between rent, utilities, supplies; setting competitive prices; advertising; choosing what services to offer; choosing a supplier; completing paperwork such as permits and insurance coverage; manning the shop, etc. It is safe to say that micro-businesses like a barbershop taxes the entrepreneur more because it’s a more hands-on, do-it-yourself work experience and you cannot really rely an accounting department to work on your finances or the janitorial services to clean up after you.

Perhaps the primary thing to do is choosing the actual family business you might want to set up. Small business ventures like these can be started at a very low cost and may even be on a part-time basis. Landscaping is one service oriented business idea, and so is orchid plant farming and selling. It really depends where your leanings go. It can also be a business born out of a pool of talents from different family members. Supposing that you have different family members who (one) bakes very well, (two) has a knack for creating great sandwiches, (three) knows specialty meat suppliers, and lastly (four) has a place of business that is near the business district in your area. You could set up your own delicatessen store, and man it in shifts.

Sometimes, business schemes need not be that grand. A deli would be nice, but is rather pricey, especially if you consider the fact that it entails a lot of the use of refrigerated meat, and food preparation, cooking, and repackaging. Mom-and-pop operations can be very small for starters – so small that it provides a unique form of service or product to the market.

Family Owned Small Business Success Story:

A company in New York started out as a simple book binding operation – a part time gig that was developed out of woman’s love for vellum-bound books. Her husband was a leather-smith, who not only worked with leather, but also had a list of suppliers needed for his trade. Their business boomed when they both decided to do specialty bindings, replicating the book-binding styles used between 15th to 17th century printings. They did this mostly for wedding and genealogy albums, often with a hefty price tag attached. And because no one does this kind of work, and both husband and wife makes sure that their work is flawless, their tiny mom-and-pop operation has now grown to a medium-sized business venture with over 250 people working for them.


  • andre said on July 24, 2010
    well i dont have a business name yet but am in the verge of starting my own business am looking for basic information in how to start my own business for example i need information about how to open a mom and pop store what kind of action do i need to take.
  • rohan bhave said on August 30, 2012
    in baroda my office/shop monalisa manjalpur i like to start business on this place.
  • Christine Foil said on October 1, 2014
    612 S. Washington St. Aspermont Texas 79502
  • Shawn Lasalle said on September 13, 2016
    I'm trying to open my own family business but don't know where to begin at I'm in the Pennsylvania if so one can email me bk I would like to get started as soon as possible thank you cor your time and by the way name is shawn hope to here back from someone


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