When finding the ideal person to go into a business venture with can be overwhelming, it is no surprise that many people turn to a family member to bring their entrepreneurial vision to life. Running a family business with your spouse, sibling or cousin as your partner can pose a different set of struggles outside the boundaries of the typical business day.
When you decide to go into business with a loved one there are many more considerations that you must face. Are you both in it for the same reasons? What is the person bringing to the table? What will their stake in the business be? These are but a few considerations. If you still want to go into business with that family member then here are some tips to help your business grow and keep the family drama at bay.
Boundaries are important
When you run a family business, you’re going to feel compelled to talk shop with one another, even when you are not in the office. Everybody needs a break from business talk every once in a while, so you have to learn how to balance talking business in the office and trying to avoid it at home as much as possible.
Set personal and family boundaries by keeping shop talk out of the home and strictly relegated to the office. It may not be possible at all times, but to help preserve your sanity and keep the peace; you should seriously attempt to avoid shop talk outside the office as much as possible. Your spouse does not want to hear about outstanding invoices on date night. You want to have another anniversary so keep your business out of your family time as much as possible.
It should also go without saying that you avoid talking about the family business at family gatherings. Remember, business talk often leads to arguments and disagreements, so it’s best to avoid these potentially volatile topics because you don’t want a huge blowout in front of every branch of your family tree.
Clearly, Divide up Responsibilities and Roles
Some members of the family may be skilled and qualified to handle certain aspects of the company while others do not possess these skills. It is vitally important to divide up roles and responsibilities from the very beginning. If you do this from the start, you’ll avoid any confusion, anger, and potential conflicts in the workplace.
Remember, you should always make large and important business decisions together as a family. But smaller business decisions can be handled personally according to each family member’s discretion. Having a meeting about every little thing happening in the company will create animosity, anger, and ultimately make everyone unhappy, so let’s avoid this at all costs.
Remember to Run Your Company like a Business
So many small businesses fail because they emphasize the family aspect of the equation, but often fail to run their company like a business. To avoid potential family rifts make sure that everything, from dividend payouts to disciplinary measures, is in writing before business operations begin. While in the office make sure that the business comes first, leave your frustration with your partner for not loading the dishwasher last night at home. On the flip side, leave work at work when you are home.
Be Happy and Be Successful
Ensuring that you use the above tips to run your family enterprise can keep things running smoothly, even though the difficult times, so that you all may benefit from the success of your company.