Running a business can be daunting. Handling a family business could be more complicated.
However, managing a family-owned business has some significant advantages because there’s a dedicated pool of people ready to stand behind your effort.
If your startup is a family business, you’ll need to take extra steps to avoid burning out, ensure on-the-job harmony and attract advice from business experts outside the family.
Here are 5 steps you should take to ensure the smooth operation of your family business:
1. Set Boundaries
Working with family means personal matters generally don’t stay at home when you go to work. Boundaries must be set to keep the personal drama at home instead of potentially ruining the work environment for everyone in the company. Leaving it to chance or just good judgment generally results in disaster. Have process and agreements for how to deal with family conflict both on and offsite.
2. Set structure for independent advisors
While different family members will be involved in the governance of the business, it is wise to have an independent advisors that include non-family members to shore up missing skills and experience and help balance interests when family members come into conflict. This way, objectivity and professionalism are maintained.
3. Set appropriate roles for people based on ability
It’s easy when running a family business to put family members in desired positions to avoid conflict in the short term. But not everyone is suited to handle positions well, and there may be other talent outside the family that may help the company perform better.
4. Set formal relationships
Put business relationships in writing. It’s easy for family members to be drawn into a business startup without a plan for what they will get out of the business relationship. To avoid hard feelings or miscommunication, put something in writing that defines compensation, ownership shares, duties and other matters.
5. Set a Succession Plan
Develop a succession plan for your business entity in order to steer away from any future hassles. The succession plan should include all the details of how affairs will be passed to the next generation, how training of new management should be carried out, etc