Generating Success: An Exploration of the Issues Facing the Electrical Construction Industry Through The Lens of Family Businesses
ELECTRI International commissioned a study to examine family-owned and -managed electrical construction companies. Based upon responses to the survey that investigators used to gather the data, their work created a profile of the membership of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). They found that
- Close to 98% of NECA member companies are family businesses.
- The profile of the “average” member is a 48-year-old male, second generation, who reports a high degree of family involvement in the ownership and management of the business.
- The majority of interviewees believe that family involvement in the business creates a strategic advantage which, in turn, has a positive impact on the performance of their business.
Electrical contractors in family businesses identified seven top areas of business planning that they perceive as essential to the family-run environment. The top three listed were strategic planning, succession planning, and estate planning.
The three top “family-oriented” issues these companies face include transitioning family members into and out of the business; establishing clear business roles and boundaries; and dealing effectively with communication and conflict.
The researchers’ primary recommendation is that in order to succeed and to capitalize on the relationship advantage, the family needs to start by clarifying its vision, values, and reasons for working together. The investigators suggest that it will take significant reflection, discussion, and collaboration among relevant family members for family-owned firms to define and achieve success.