Establishing a successful family business can require a lot of effort, even more so than others. Notably, there are many tools that can increase efficiency in a family business. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of working with the family, plus top tips to make it work, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls associated with such businesses. Read on to discover the most important fundamentals of a successful family business.
Mutual Respect Is Essential
To make a family business work, each member should respect one another and not think that they ‘know better’ and impose the opinions on others based on the family hierarchy and politics. Everyone involved should know that it’s a business, and needs to be kept professional. All the members should be involved and everyone’s opinions need to be considered equally, without condescension. Therefore, inclusion and gender equality is essential for business success. Indeed, if there’s no mutual respect between the family members, it’s guaranteed that such a business will fail.
The second thing you need to do when starting a family business is to create strict boundaries. You should leave discussing business matters in the office or a dedicated place of work rather than at home.
Taking work back home can create tense situations that are easy to avoid if only left at a workplace. When seeing the same people 24/7, the pressure can be high and conflicts are almost unavoidable, so boundaries are necessary to ease the pressure. Of course, you can always use small business forums as problem-solving resources as well.
Flexible Transportation Is Paramount
As a family business, it’s important to stay flexible to get to prospective clients and suppliers meetings with ease. Public transport is not as reliable if you need to travel to the rural towns and villages, and that’s where a car of your own comes in handy. Nowadays, many car dealers offer a variety of financing deals that make buying a vehicle affordable, such as 0% offers and no deposit options, so picking the right vehicle for your needs won’t break a bank. Owning a car will make it much easier to conduct a business and is extremely useful when traveling often is a must.
Define Roles And Responsibilities
When mutual respect and boundaries are established, it’s time to move on and assign people to their jobs. Defining who’s doing what will help down the road and avoid any confusion. Establish what is expected from every role and the KPIs that will be used to track the performance. For example, an email marketer in your company might look at the percentage of opens on your advertising campaigns.
Make sure that each member is on the same page about what they want to do and what they’re good at, so there’s no built-up resentment as time goes by. This leads us to another important point that is communication between the family members.
In a business, communication is an essential aspect in determining whether it will succeed or fail. If the members don’t voice their frustrations or suggest new business ideas, then everyone stagnates and can’t work effectively. Make sure to encourage people to share about how they feel when working and constantly strive to improve things rather than relying on the old ways. Even a simple thing, such as listening to each family member, will create a supportive environment that can make a huge difference.
Pros Of Family Business
• Hard Work – People work harder and are willing to put in more time and effort since it’s for the good of a family and everyone has a common goal to make the company as successful as possible.
• Familiarity – It’s can be more comfortable to work with the people you already knew for years rather than plunge into the new, unknown environment and adapt to different people and their working styles.
• Shared Values – Because of these values, it is far easier to agree on how things are done, and so the business moves quicker because everyone is on the same page.
Cons of Family Business
• Experience -Rather than hiring someone who is fit for the role and have the skills and experience, family members that lack these qualities are hired instead.
• Tread Lightly With Criticism – You’ll need to be careful with what you’re saying, so you don’t hurt others as others may take it personally.
• Disinterest In A Family Business – Businesses need to prepared to hand over the reins to someone who isn’t from a family, as often, family members have their own career goals.
For a family business to work, there need to be boundaries, clearly defined roles & responsibilities, flexibility, and communication. What do you think makes a family business successful? Let us know in the comments!