A lot of businesses start out as family businesses or as an individual’s business that incorporates the second generation becoming then a family business. There are many benefits from running a business with family, but it can be challenging as well. If you want to start and run a successful family business, there are certain issues to watch out for. Follow these tips to ensure your business gets off to the best start and that you work incredibly well with family members involved in the company.
Make sure you’re on the same page
Before you even think of launching your business, you need to ensure that everyone involved from the family is on the same page. Whether related or not, many people go into starting a business with their own idea of what it will be like, so it’s important to talk through these ideas and have the same vision for the business. During this time, create a business plan together so you can go over various points of the business.
Identify strengths and weaknesses
As you’re creating the business plan, it’s important to identify everyone’s strengths and weaknesses as well. Acknowledging these differences makes delegating tasks easier and allows you to identify what traits additional employees should have.
No matter how close you are to the family members that you’re starting a business with, it’s still important to set boundaries. Keep your work and family lives separate; do not bring family problems to work and vice versa. Having boundaries from the start that you can all follow makes it less likely you’ll have problems down the road. Establishing an advisory board with independent board members helps to keep business and family issues separate.
Get everything in writing
When you first start planning the business, get everything in writing. Agree, in person, on how much of the business each person has control over, what everyone’s role and responsibilities are, and the general guidelines for the running of the business. Write these ideas down as soon as they’re agreed upon and have a lawyer look over it to make sure it’s official.
Find outside help
Whether you want legal counsel to help you plan the business or you’re thinking of hiring more employees, having some people involved in the business who aren’t related to your family is a great idea. Consider finding an advisory board who can give input on the business. Find experienced professionals who can advise you on how to smoothly run the company.
Remember it’s a business
Whatever happens, remember that you’re running a business. Sometimes family members get into arguments and avoid each other for a period of time; if you’re working together, this option isn’t available. Remain professional at work and stay a family outside of it. Focusing on the company vision and dedicating yourselves to working together sets your family business up for success.