Building a successful family business is one of the proudest, and most difficult, goals you could undertake. Oftentimes, you don’t know where to start. If you have your family helping figure out the minute details of business and handling issues that might arise, you can feel confident in your ability to handle it together. However, no matter how close your family is, there can be significant stress associated with running a family business together, especially if you all have different personalities and leadership types. Here are some tips to follow in order to create a strong family business that’ll last for years.
Get on the same page
Before you start running a family business together, make sure you’re all on the same page. Many conflicts can be easily resolved by simply taking time to talk and listen to one another. Discuss any major decisions that need to be made and talk through what goals you envision for the company. Do not make important decisions until you can talk to the other family members involved in the business. Communicating is the best way to help your family business succeed.
Use hard copies
Even though it might seem fine to simply discuss decisions and ideas, make sure you put everything into writing. You never know what could happen or if someone will forget exactly what decision you arrived at. Create hard copy versions of any agreements or decisions reached; there won’t ever be any confusion about what was agreed upon and you can avoid unnecessary arguments.
Make smart leadership decisions
Just because you’re closer to one family member more than another doesn’t mean you should give them a better position. Choose what family members run what aspects of the business based on their skills and personality, not your relationship with them. Honestly evaluate each other and find where every individual can use their skills to the greatest benefit.
If there’s a disagreement between family members or you have different ideas of how to run the business, these disagreements need to be acknowledged. I mentioned above how important communication is; it’s even more important if there’s already a conflict that could affect the business. Do not be afraid to talk an issue out because it’ll make it much easier to work together in the long run.
Treat it like a business
Even though you’re working with your family and are close to them, remember to treat your company like a business. Remain as professional as possible and follow all legal requirements. Handle decisions like you would in any other business with people who aren’t your family members. As much as possible, remove your personal lives from the business.
Above all, while you need to remain professional and run the business, remember to have fun. Your family is your family for life and you want to forge strong bonds with your family members if you truly want your company to succeed and be passed onto your children and their children. Make the family business something that provides happiness and you’ll be well on your way to success.