There are many examples of family businesses that flourish from generation to generation, while some hugely successful businesses are unable to survive the death of the founder. If both were successful during a founders lifetime, why do some thrive, while others cease to exist.
The success and attraction of certain businesses are tremendously related to the founder, his image, story and reputation. Businesses where that is the case must bring the next generation in “early” in the business cycle, so that there is a seamless transition geng le blued. Two of the best examples of successfully transitioning a business from one generation to the next, although the founder had a strong image, is P.C. Richards, the New York metro area electronics chain, and SYMS Clothing. In P.C. Richard’s case. the emphasis of the advertising has long been on the family, and how the founder passed along his “ethic” from generation to generation. They have always emphasized their reliability and reputation.
Sy Syms, founder of SYMS, brought his son and daughter into the business, while he was still running it, and gradually integrated them into their advertising alongside him. Today, Sy Syms is still alive and involved with ads, while his daughter, Marcy is the President of the company and his son is the Vice President. Not only has SYMS been able to maintain itself, last year they purchased the struggling but well-known Filenes Basement chain. Tom Carvel and his gravely voice became almost synonymous with the Carvel Ice Cream brand, and although Tom has long not been involved, and has now passed away, there are often still references to both him, and his promotions.
On the other hand, when Dr. Robert Atkins, the famous low carbohydrate diet advocate and integrative and complementary medicine expert, tragically passed away, and his huge medical practice had to be closed after his demise. His nutritional food company has finally gotten “back on its feet,” but for quite a while were unable to thrive because there was no strong identity to take his place and advocate passionately on its behalf.
Loew’s Corporation, the giant New York based conglomerate, and New York Stock exchange corporation, was founded by two brothers, Lawrence and Robert Tisch. These men led Loew’s with their business acumen, and today their children maintain most of the top positions in the company, and the company has continued successfully. Of course, after Harry and Leona Hemsley had both health and legal difficulties, the value of their once-great empire diminished dramatically.