All Articles Tagged "Family business"
Trying to find out what you want to do with your life can be hard. But it’s good when your family is in a certain business because it can open up doors for you or inspire you to follow in their footsteps. This is definitely true for celebrities who had a talent and followed in their parents’ footsteps of performing. Here are a list of a few celebs who were influenced by their parents talent to pursue their dreams in acting and music.
Though her father was a pastor, he was also a Jazz musician who performed in clubs at night. His talent for music rubbed off on his daughter who also performed in the church choir, and of course, sings and performs all over now.
In her instantly viral Golden Globes coming out speech, actor/director Jodie Foster remarked: “Now, I’m told, apparently every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and prime time reality show.”
Indeed, back in the day, though gossip mags did their best to publicize celebs’ private lives and scandalous business, stars could get away with separating their person from their persona. Before Being Bobby Brown, for example, viewers had no real idea who Whitney Houston was beyond the honey-voiced, modelesque ingénue Clive Davis and Arista Records put forth.
Veteran music publicist Tresa Sanders has worked with Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Common, Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Wu-Tang, Bootsy Collins, Nelly Furtado, and Snoop Dogg among others. She says, “In the past the artists that worked were ones that, for the most part, had good product, a really good strategic press plan and a person that implemented it well. Back then it was just the telephone and the fax in regard to communicating with a media outlet so you had to have someone that was a bull dog and at the same time creative. Someone that really was able to come up with angles and a great story.”
Today, not so much. The price of entry to stardom — and the pass to stay there — seems to be full and constant disclosure across a combination of platforms from Twitter to Instagram to reality shows.
Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta castmember K. Michelle told Bossip.com being on the show boosted her career tremendously. “For three years I was singing my little heart out, and y’all was not hearing,” she says of her struggle to find an audience before she went on the show. “Look, I even tried to leak [an] unclothed picture, y’all still didn’t hear. Lord have mercy. Everybody else was doing it… you still didn’t care to hear me sing. And all I wanted was my voice to be heard, my story.”
She continues, “So this show, even though I’ve caught a lot of backlash, I wasn’t selling out shows then. Now I am… Love and Hip Hop has been great for my career.”
While gossip columnists are planting seeds of the power couple’s demise, personal drama doesn’t seem to be slowing down the Smith clan’s family business. Will and Jada Smith recently announced they would venture into the reality show industry with a partnership with Simon Cowell, the executive producer behind X Factor and America’s Got Talent. The Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment along with SYCO Entertainment and Sony Pictures Televisions will launch a reality competition series searching for the world’s best DJ. The production companies will launch the format, which is expected to be shopped internationally and domestically.
After almost 15 years of marriage, it’s no surprise that some are wondering when the couple will fizzle. Their union has lasted an eternity by Hollywood standards and if there has been any trouble in paradise, it hasn’t made its way to credible headlines. Tabloids and blogs have been speculating about a pending divorce since August, citing everything from on-set romances to disputes over how to manage their children’s career. In addition to its newest venture, Overbrook Entertainment manages the careers and projects of Will and Jada as well as their rising star offspring, Jaden and Willow Smith.
Managing a relationship where professional and personal interests overlap, as Will and Jada’s does, is a challenge. Thus far, the Smiths have managed to make it look easy. But, regardless of the state of this Hollywood marriage, managing a family business is no easy task.
Statistics show that fewer than 30 percent of family businesses survive to the second generation, and just 10 percent make it to the third. This may sound discouraging, but keep in mind those are far better odds than the average small business. Family businesses have an advantage over the competition, because tight-knit management and invested employees are the key to a successful, resilient company.
The main cause of issues in a family business is when interests don’t align. Whether it’s the interest of one family member not aligning with another or interests of the entire family not aligning with the interests of the business. A few proactive steps can be taken to quell these issues before they impact your success:
- Set Rules – Rules are just as important in business as they are in a home. A start-up usually requires a business plan and mission statement. A family business might not require these formal documents; however, drafting agreements and expectations will prevent confusion about the vision and direction of the business.
- Plan for the Future – Long-term planning must be considered before the business is launched. This is a way to make sure everyone’s vision for the business is aligned. The more detail, the better. This is especially beneficial when going into business with a significant other. Think of it as a business prenuptial agreement. Document what is expected of each person and how profits and losses will be divided.
- Define Roles and Relationships – A simple job description defining what each person does in the business can go a long way in preventing confusion and friction. Family relationships will have an impact on the office. There is no getting around it. But, having job descriptions and setting aside time for business meetings instead of talking shop over the dinner table keeps the line between personal and professional from blurring.
Running a family business can be hard, but it can have great rewards. Leveraging the power of familial bonds has proved to be a successful business strategy, and not just for the Smith clan. Samsung, Ford, Wal-Mart, and the Trump Organization all started as family businesses. Your family can easily be next.
Cortney Cleveland is a public relations practitioner and freelance culture & business writer working in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @CleveInTheCity.
Seven years in the UK comprised of study, work and marriage wasn’t enough to convince UK officials to allow Namibian native Jessica Austin to stay in Britain. The Advertiser reports that in 2008 she faced expulsion from her home and family as the government argued she was no longer eligible to stay in the UK. After years of fighting the accusations, Austin won, and recently launched her own kilt business.
Jessica married her Scottish husband Steven Austin in 2007 and shortly after, she renewed her paperwork to stay in the country. But a year later, the government declared she had failed to renew her visa due to a timing and payment issue. The couple was shocked as Jessica faced separation from her husband and five-year-old daughter Milan. She was told she would have to start her visa process again–from Namibia.
Jessica was determined not to go without a fight. With the help of local newssource the Advertiser, the family won. In 2010 Jessica secured an indefinete leave status from Britain. Unfortuantely, the battle did not end without leaving devestating scars.
“We lost our house during the 10 months of fighting for my paperwork and I had to give up my job, but we had to pay our immigration lawyers,” Jessica told The Advertiser.
Jessica and her family didn’t let their finanical woes stop them. To help pay for their legal fees and mounting debt, the couple began to export Scottish tartan to her native homeland, where it is considered a luxury.
“At first we made eight at a time to see if they’d sell, but now we’ve launched a website and have already had 3000 hits from all over the world since it launched just weeks ago,” Jessia said.
Together the couple created Kahere Kilts, which now sells Scottish kilts for men and women in various fabrics and materials.
“We’re both still working and putting in long hours with the kilt company,” she said. “It’s amazing that we’ve found a new business out of everything that happened.”
By Tarice Gray
In show business it’s hard to know who to trust. As a result, many celebrities hire family and friends to help them navigate the journey toward success. For some that decision hasn’t worked out for the best. But no matter how successful the partnership, some are doomed to fail. Family feuds in Hollywood are not uncommon, and when it comes to money, many will love you today and sue you tomorrow. Here’s The Atlanta Post’s list of some of the family business alliances that have fizzled.
Beyonce and Dad
Mega star Beyonce Knowles owes much of her success to her father Matthew Knowles. He managed her career from the time she was a teen phenom and member of the ultra-successful group, Destiny’s Child. But just weeks ago the Grammy Award-winning singer fired her dear old dad. It seems members of Beyonce’s camp reported that the elder Knowles stole from his uber wealthy offspring. Although they both pledge their family bond holds strong, the professional end of their relationship remains a matter for the courts.
(Wall Street Journal) — Do you remember your childhood summer job? I do. I worked in my family business—a funeral home. From the time I was five, my parents found ways for me to “help out.” My first responsibility was to collect broken flowers from funeral sprays so my mother could easily vacuum. It might sound morbid—but it was a way for my parents to spend time with me, instead of dropping me off with a baby sitter. And I learned some invaluable lessons about work ethic along the way. As we head into summer, some small-business owners with school-aged children are probably facing a difficult dilemma. How do you meet the 24/7 demands of running a business, while simultaneously spending quality time with your children?
(Inc.) — There is the intellectual battle over whether entrepreneurs are born or made. When it comes to family-run businesses, entrepreneurial inclinations may very well present themselves in family members early on in life. Of course, one has to be on the lookout for entrepreneurial vim and vigor vs. youthful idleness. The head of the household—and the business—has to steer clear of any total thoughtless placement of family members within the company.
It is hard to be objective about hiring relatives, especially a son or daughter. But you have to objectively ascertain people’s strengths and weaknesses before you bring them into the business, says Wayne Rivers, president of The Family Business Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina. For instance, you might have a popular, socially gifted daughter who is taking accounting courses in college but she doesn’t really enjoy number crunching. You wouldn’t want to say to that ‘daughter you are going to be my new CFO when you graduate.’ Rivers cautions, “You have to let people play up to their strengths instead of trying to shore up their weaknesses.”
Family businesses are a long-established tradition. About 80 percent of the world’s businesses are family owned, according to research from the Kennesaw State University Coles College of Business. Family-run businesses account for nearly 35 percent of the largest companies in the U.S. (60 percent of all public companies), including Ford, Koch Industries, Cargill, Wal-Mart, Loews, and Ikea. More than 30 percent of all family-owned businesses survive into the second generation. But only about 13 percent are passed onto the third generation.
by Tarice L.S. Gray
Family owned-businesses are everywhere; in fact, they make up roughly 90 percent of all North American companies according to Family Firm Institute, an organization for family enterprise professionals. The Moore family caught the ownership bug when Theodore Moore Sr., a union construction laborer, and his daughter, Sirena, an office administrator, noticed that there was a need within the construction industry for on site cleaning services. In 2002, Elohim Cleaning Contractors was incorporated. When the family embarked on their entrepreneurial journey, they had little capital, no investors or official office space. Today, Elohim has become a nationally recognized family firm, generating $2.7 million in 2009. Sirena, who serves as the company’s CEO, spoke to TAP about the family’s journey and what plans are underway for the future:
Sirena, your family started Elohim in 2002, during a time when many people were skeptical about the economy due to the brief recession that occurred after 9-11. What motivated you and your family to launch Elohim?
The economy had nothing to do with our decision. We were just regular, old working Americans who pretty much saw an opportunity and pursued it. My father worked in the construction industry, I worked, and my brother, at the time, was also working and attending school. When my father found out that a contractor was awarded a six figure contract to do what he knew how to do, he came to me and said, ‘if you can figure out how to start a business, I can do the service and we can have our own.’
What is your background Sirena?
I got pregnant with twin girls during my last year of high school. I gave birth right before my graduation in 1999. It was during that summer when we actually came up with the idea for the business. Between ’99 and 2002, we started [preparing to launch the business]. After high school, [I decided] I wanted to become a financial adviser after getting petitioned with Morgan Stanley Dean Whitter (now Morgan Stanley Smith Barney) and another company called Advest. I worked as a financial sales assistant for some of the top producers for each of the two companies. So my background has been in office administration.
What about your father and brother? How did they dive into world of business?
Though my brother attended Allentown Business School [in Pennsylvania] for a year or two, he doesn’t have a business degree. My father never finished high school. So we really started this business like most individuals who just want to get into business. We started with hard knocks–a lot of research, surrounding ourselves with people who were doing great things and finding great mentors. That’s kind of how we boot-strapped.
What about investors? Did anyone help you plant the seeds for Elohim?
Not one. This was a family business and all of us had to make major sacrifices. I didn’t know anything about starting a business. I took a few classes at the Women’s Business Development Center while I worked full-time. I even worked part-time the first four years of the business because we couldn’t afford to get paid right away.
(Newsweek) — The post-crisis numbers are in, and it paid off to be a patriarch. Think back to the height of the panic that was toppling global banks in late 2008, and a story from São Paulo sticks out. With its share price down more than 30 percent, Brazil’s Banco Itaú struck a deal to merge with União de Bancos, its foremost rival. Both banks needed to expand their reach and share costs, but a more fundamental fact made the deal possible. “This only happened because they were controlled by two families,” says Eduardo Gentil, managing partner at the São Paulo office of Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise. The families were able to strike the deal quickly and smoothly.
(Black Enterprise) — When your business partner is your spouse it’s important to take extra measures to keep any work conflict from overflowing into the marriage. Take for example, Brian, 29, and Autumn Merritt, 27, co-owners of the fashion boutique Sir & Madame in Chicago. They also are the proud new parents of a very sociable 8-month-old by, Ari Merritt, who’s been made an honorary employee, which predominately means smiling and teething. Black Enterprise caught up with the married business owners to talk about how to maintain a successful marriage and family while running a family business.