~by Lizzie Weakley~
Running a family business can be as challenging as starting a business with an associate or former coworker, if not more so. There are personal feelings to consider as well as bruised egos. Plus, they’re people you love. And if you don’t have a plan in place, dissension can easily detract from results.
If you’re starting a family business and looking for ways to better ensure its success, consider these helpful tips.
1. Select a Leader
Whether it’s you or your older brother, designate someone as leader of your management team. This should be the person who is most experienced in the industry or has the greatest product knowledge. His or her decision will also have more weight. Choosing a leader can help you avoid bitter disagreements that can hamper your company’s results, according to Entrepreneur.
2. Establish Roles
Chances are, when you selected your family team, you were aware of their abilities and talents. Harness these talents by assigning everyone specific positions and duties within the company. Put these job descriptions in writing so family members can familiarize themselves with their responsibilities. Having predefined roles enables you to work better as a unit and get more done.
3. Put Family First
More than a few family members have become estranged from bad business relationships. While it may be challenging at times, especially when making decisions, set certain boundaries for creating business strategies, according to Fox Business. Do not ruin family bonds over any business issues.
4. Train Everyone in Advance
Make sure all family members are trained on operations and policies before you open for business. This is especially crucial if you’re opening a franchise business, where none of you have particular expertise. Make sure all family members have some familiarity with each other’s roles so they can fill in should someone call in sick. Training runs the gamut from word processing and data management courses to seminars in presentations. If you’re the leader of the business, consider an online MBA program. This can enhance your understanding of the various functional areas of organizations, such as marketing, finance, and research and development, giving you greater conceptual skills to succeed.
5. Create a Business Plan
A business plan can help get your company headed in the right direction. Some common facets of business plans are organizational structure, market analysis and financial projections. You should also create a clear vision statement for your business so everyone is on the same page.
While running a family business is challenging, you can overcome some of the typical pitfalls by adhering to some or all of these strategies.
Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.