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A business is an activity of engaging in trade for the purpose of making profits. The profits are to be realized through the sale of goods and services to customers. A business can also be defined as an enterprise that is involved in selling goods and services at a price with the core purpose of satisfying their customers, earn profits, and increase wealth for the owners. There are different categories of businesses.
These include the sole proprietor, which is owned and managed by a single individual. In addition, there is the partnership business, which is an association of two or more people who come up to start a business together. In partnership, the partners raise capital and run the business together with the sole purpose of making profits.
Finally, there is the company or corporation where more than ten people may wish to start a business and register the business to make profits. There is no maximum number of stakeholders in a company, and the company acts under the legal guidance with the constitution of the country where it is registered (Poza, 56).
A family business is a business enterprise that is owned and managed by at least two members of the same family. In family business, the entrepreneurs are usually related by blood or marriage. The interest of the business is to make profits (Halkias, 12). The business is run and controlled by the whole family, but may also be run by the person with the largest share holding in the enterprise.
The profits for the business are usually shared according to the number of shares each controlling interest or person has in the company (Shams and Lane, 256). It can be noted that some of the most successful enterprises are family owned and controlled. For example, Walmart in the United States and Samsung in Korea (Alderson, 23).
Family business in the Middle East
Family businesses in the Middle East region are run and controlled at least two members of the same or related families. The family forms the management team for business and controls the operation of the business. Most of these family businesses were started a long time ago and have been passed from generation to generation, and control is under the family name (Barrett and Moores, 46).
The success of most family-owned businesses can be attributed to the fact that family members are loyal and very dedicated to the business. In this case, each stakeholder is concerned with the welfare of the business (Gasparski, Ryan and Kwiatkowski 89). Notably, almost 80% of the businesses in the Middle East are family-owned.
These businesses are thought to have been started as entrepreneurs in the mid 1960s, and have continued to expand over the years to modern, large businesses that are taking the world by storm. For example, the Alghanim Industries Company is among the most prominent businesses in the Middle East.
The company operates in more than 40 countries. The company is involved in diverse businesses within the manufacturing, engineering, retailing, and the insurance sectors (Stewart, Lumpkin and Katz, 65). Most family businesses are controlled by family members who have always had the upper hand in exercising control and management.
A group of experts in management is appointed during family meetings to undertake the running of the business. Family business should understand the changing economic environment in order to adapt and continue making profits. This is aimed to ensure that the family business remains in operation and grow just like any other business (Iqbal, 123).
Most family businesses do not survive the third generation despite being successful. This also applies to most firms in the Middle East. In this case, conflicts arise due to control of the business and may lead to collapse of the business (Gupta, 29).
For the business to be successful and survive the third generation, the parties involved in the complex fight for control over the business should be met through discussion, and a balancing act reached by all parties (Carlock and Ward, 38). Each family is unique in its own way, and the identity of the family keeps changing as the generations change.
In this respect, the younger generations wish to have control of the business without experience on how to run the business. The governance structure of the business keeps changing when business inheritance takes place where each leader comes up with a new strategy on how to run the business (Jamali and Sidani, 59).
For a business to reap the profits and be successful in its operation, the entrepreneur should draw up a good business plan that will see the business grow and expand to greater levels. Its operations should be efficient in order to make profits that will cater for its expenses and expansion. In the Middle East, most successful businesses are family-owned.
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This explains the booming of businesses in the area due to clear and strategic management in all areas of operation. The business owners are aware of some of the threats that these businesses are likely to face in the near future, and thus make plans on how to deal with them. Some of the challenges that family businesses face are discussed during family meetings where understanding and agreement are met by all the parties involved.
Alderson, Keanon. Understanding the Family Business. New York: Business Expert Press, 2011. Print.
Barrett, Mary, and K. Moores. Women in Family Business Leadership Roles: Daughters on the Stage. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2009. Print.
Carlock, Randel S. and J.L. Ward. When Family Businesses Are Best: The Parallel Planning Process for Family Harmony and Business Success. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Print.
Gasparski, Wojciech, L.V. Ryan and S.M. Kwiatkowski. Entrepreneurship: Values and Responsibility. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2010. Print.
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Halkias, Daphne. Father-daughter Succession in Family Business: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Farnham, Surrey: Gower, 2011. Print.
Iqbal, Zubair. Macroeconomic Issues and Policies in the Middle East and North Africa. Washington, D.C: Internat. Monetary Fund, 2001. Print.
Jamali, Dima and Y. Sidani. Csr in the Middle East: Fresh Perspectives. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.
Poza, Ernesto J. Family Business. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Shams, Manfusa, and D.A. Lane. Coaching in the Family Owned Business: A Path to Growth. London: Karnac Books, 2011. Print.
Stewart, Alex, G.T. Lumpkin and J. A. Katz. Entrepreneurship and Family Business. Bingley: Emerald, 2010. Print.