Starting any business can be difficult but, if you’re dedicated to starting a family business, you may discover there are many additional factors that must be taken into consideration.
For example, family members will generally be less respectful of the management structure and more likely to state their piece, this can lead to extensive arguments, bad feelings, and potentially serious issues with the business, even before it officially started!
That’s why you need to think carefully before starting a family business.
Align Your Interests
Most family members will enjoy spending time together but that’s not the same as running a business together. In order to successfully run a business, you need to have a common interest and a common goal.
In short, everyone involved should feel excited about the business and not because it’s a new venture, but because they genuinely believe in the product or service you’re offering.
Once you know what really excites each member of the family business you’ll be able to assign responsibilities. This should mean that every family member is doing something they are passionate about. But, this also means that while some elements, such as website design, need input from everyone, the final decision is with the person that has been assigned the responsibility for websites.
This is important to ensure every family member feels passionate about the business and that their opinion counts. By taking responsibility for specific sections you can also play to the strengths of each person and avoid their weaknesses. In short, you’ll be building a strong business because you’re using people’s strengths properly.
This should also help each family member to enjoy the work they are doing, that’s essential if you want the business to flourish in the medium to long-term.
It is also important that after deciding the responsibilities these are recorded, effectively defining the role of each family member. This will make it easier for each person to complete their job and to ensure that people don’t step on each other’s toes.
Create Family Times
The key to a successful family business is to leave your family roles at the door. When you enter the office you’re in business mode and each decision is a business one, not personal.
Every member of the family should understand this and accept it. However, you do need to remember that this is your family and more than just a standard job. That’s why it’s essential to create family time outside of the workplace. All family members should meet up socially and not talk business.
This encourages family bonds to stay strong and is good for individuals as well as the business. It will also help you to let off steam, especially after a particularly stressful day.
Running a family business means there will be stressful and difficult times. But, if you all remember the difference between business and pleasure you’ll be on the right path to success in business and family life.