Family owned businesses resourceful. ROA is greater in family
businesses, averaging a 6.65% greater return than non-family firms.
Family owned businesses have longevity. The average life span of a
family-owned business is 24 years (familybusinesscenter.com). About
40% of U.S. family-owned businesses turn into second-generation
businesses, approximately 13% are passed down successfully to a third
generation, and 3% to a forth or beyond. (Businessweek.com, 2010)
The largest family owned business in the US is Wal-Mart Inc., with
$408 billion in revenues and 2.1 million employees in 2009.
More FOBs are finding leadership from outside the family. Between 10%
and 15% of U.S. family firms are now managed by non-family executives.
(Barclays Wealth and The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2009.)
Emergency planning is vital. In nearly half (47.7 %) of all FOB
collapses, the failure of the business was precipitated by the
founder's death, or in 29.8% of the cases, the owner's unexpected
death. Only in relatively few instances (16.4 %), did the business
failure follow an orderly transition, and in situations where the
owner was forced to retire, the figure drops to 6.1%. (University of
Connecticut Family Business Program, 2009)
The oldest family owned business operating in the US is the Zildjian
Cymbal Co. of Norwood, MA. Founded 1623 in Constantinople and moved
with the family to the US in 1929. (Family Business Magazine, Spring
2008). For a complete list of Americaís oldest family businesses, go
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