The Family-Run Printing Company
It is hard to separate the word family from a privately run printing business. Why? Most printing companies are run and/or influenced by family members. You will notice many such companies have the family name tied to the company. Moreover, I often ask people, in classes, training or speeches, if family businesses are good or bad. The answer I hear is both. There is an upside and downside to every family business. In some companies, I see family members treated as second class citizens, told to wait their time to move up and are really treated poorly. In other ones, I see long term and personal family issues playing out in the workplace and thus drama is everywhere. In other family printing businesses, family members come into the company at a high level whether they are great or bad performers…making these companies more like an entitlement focus than a results-based focus.
So what does this mean? Family businesses are complicated, special, confusing, emotional and exciting. Yes, they are all of these things at the same time. Wow, does this seem overwhelming? Yes it is to many. However, not to me. My firm specializes in working with family businesses. Why? I love them. They are so much fun, yet quite complicated at the same time. However, the upside always overshadows the downside. You know the expression…blood is thicker than water. Of course, that does not include instances of family members stabbing or punching each other.
Many family-run businesses I work with in this industry cannot agree on where they want to go. Why? There are different generations involved in the process and in some cases various family members in each generation. All have different vantage points. If you are on the outside looking in, a family business looks like the perfect life. However, when you are on the inside looking out it can be quite complicated.