From the Founder
Thanks for checking out NxtGen Nexus, where we like to say that we’re ”saving the business world – one family at a time.” I know that’s a bit grandiose. But having been born into a family business, worked in the family business, and watched my family sell the business because I didn’t go into it, today I have strong feelings about helping family businesses succeed.
When I was grappling with whether or not to join my family’s business, I had no one around to help me figure it out. My family members all had their own agendas. My friends didn’t know anything about family businesses. I could have written Dr. Phil, but that would have been creepy. All I wanted was a place where I could share the good, the bad and the craziness of family business.
NxtGen Nexus’ premise is that growing up in a family business is strange. Equally strange whether you’re in Danville, IL or Dubai, UAE. With a mix of social, pop culture, a family cat video or two, networking with family business NxtGens, personal advice, and professional guidance, together we can explode the greatness of family business. That’s a huge win for you, for family businesses, and for the global economy.
Still not convinced? Here’s a final test: What was your first job in the business, and how much did you get paid?
Why Family Businesses Matters
Family Owned Businesses are recognized as important and dynamic participants in the world economy:
- Family-controlled firms now make up 19% of the companies in the Fortune Global 500, which tracks the world’s largest firms by sales. That is up from 15% in 2005. (McKinsey 2014)
- There are 5.5 million family businesses in the US. (FEUSA, 2011)
- Family owned businesses contribute 57% of the GDP and employ 63% of the workforce (Family Enterprise USA, 2011)
- 24 percent of family businesses are led by a female CEO or President, and 31.3 percent of family businesses surveyed indicate that the next successor is a female. Nearly 60 percent of all family owned businesses have women in top management team positions (Mass Mutual American Family Business Survey, 2007).
Successful family firms embrace a sense of stewardship and fiscal responsibility. Their advantages over other business entities in their focus on the long term, their loyalty to their community, their commitment to quality (which is often associated with the family name), and their care and concern for employees.
Family Businesses also face a unique set of management challenges stemming from the overlap of family and business issues. As a result of these challenges, 40% of U.S. family-owned businesses transition into a second-generation businesses, approximately 13% are passed down successfully to a third generation, while 3% survive to a fourth or beyond. (Businessweek.com, 2010)
Allen Esrock is the founder of NxtGen Nexus. Allen started working for Big Men’s Shop, his family business, when he was five-years old. His first job was guarding the front door during holiday shopping season. Including a stint in the family business, Allen has done many fun and exciting things. He is a former television comedy writer and the Founder of Jitter Fingers, a safe social networking platform for tween girls and their bffs, with on-line clubs in 200+ cities in the US and ten countries. Prior to founding NxtGen Nexus, Allen was the President of Preferred Partners Recruiting, an executive search firm. From his recruiting work with family business owners, Allen grew passionate about the opportunities that exist for NxtGens in the family business.
Craig Berger has been writing and editing web content since S E O were just three random letters of the alphabet. After graduating from USC with a Masters degree in Professional Writing, he quickly found himself drawn into the internet copywriting world. Realizing that creating content for the web could be both an art and a science, he threw himself into understanding both aspects, learning how to create content that was compelling, informative and attractive to search engines all at once.
After a stint writing articles mostly on poker strategy for content provider CKMG, Craig rose to become the head writer and editor of that organization, then jumped to Vantage Media, where he spent a lot of time curating and editing content for the former Yahoo! Education site. Looking to strike out on his own with a new project, Craig ran into Allen Esrock, and was instantly intrigued by his concept of creating a website just for Millennials looking to find their place in the family business. Craig’s experience and skills at curating, editing and writing great web content was a perfect fit for Allen’s newly hatched website concept, and the rest is history.
Cheryl Brooks is a marketing professional with extensive experience in all facets of the marketing universe and specializes in developing and executing marketing and branding strategies that help launch, position and grow businesses. She’s been an active part of producing campaigns for education, consumer products, television, music, sports and film on and offline. During her career she has handled publicity, executed promotions, produced special events, created digital sites, developed social media campaigns and negotiated highly successful partnerships.
Throughout her career, Cheryl has worked for DreamWorks SKG, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Disney Consumer Products, NBC/Universal, UCLA Extension and the NFL. She began her career in film marketing where she oversaw campaigns for crowd pleasing and award-winning films. She’s a proud auntie and chocolate lover with a flair for interior design.