5 keys to family business success
If you’re entertaining the idea of starting a family business, or thinking about working for one, you should equip yourself with some knowledge about how to make it work. It may seem like a dream to be able to work with your family – you love your family, so everyone should be able to get along perfectly, right? Unfortunately, that’s often not the case, and the start-up process can be especially taxing on your relationship. According to statistics only 1 in 3 family businesses survive to the next generation. The following keys will help you find family business success:
1. Treat it like a normal business
One of the most common mistakes those involved in a family business make, is focusing too much on the family aspect of it and not enough on the business side of things. Yes, family is important, but in some ways you might have to be prepared to put family second if you want your business to succeed.
2. Set boundaries
While it’s very important to treat this company as a business, you also need to set boundaries and make sure they’re followed. If you and your family members are discussing the business whenever you see one another, including out of work hours, be prepared for tensions to rise. Starting and running a business can be stressful enough without having the added pressure and stress of taking the business with you wherever you go. Make some house rules, such as never discuss business during dinner time.
3. Avoid giving “pity” jobs to other family members
Sometimes, business owners think they’re doing the right thing by giving a jobs to their kids or other family members just to help them out, and while that’s noble, it’s not always a smart idea. If you’ve decided to give a job to someone who isn’t a good worker and is unemployed because he or she can’t keep a job anywhere else, you should probably re-think your decision. This could lead to needing to fire someone down the line, which will cause more problems in the long run.
This is extremely important. Your family’s business success relies on keeping the lines of communication open. This could be tricky, especially if you’re not very open with family members at the best of times. But in a business situation, you will have to make an extra effort to talk freely with both the non-family and family members involved within the business, regardless of how well you know one another and how open you are.
5. Make sure expectations line up
If you need something done by a certain time and day, let it be known to whoever you give this task to that there’s a dead line that needs to be met. Make sure everyone is on the same page from the very beginning to ensure there are no surprises or let downs. Keeping the lines of communication open will be your greatest tool. Communication is key!