There are a lot of business options in the world. Some people choose to join a giant company. Some people start their own with friends. But some choose to go into business with people they already trust implicitly, and that’s their family.
Building a family business is not easy by any means. You have to maintain a level of professionalism and trust, while at the same time not allowing the business to take over the family life. Read on to find a few tips and tricks about how best to do this in a way that means everybody wins.
Play on Strengths
Everybody’s good at something different, and a family business is no different when it comes to assigning tasks to people. You should still play to the strength of your family members because that is how you have the best chance for success. Someone who is good with numbers should possibly do the accounting, where someone who is good at communicating with people should potentially be the face of the company. Every role is important, but unless you delegate properly, and look at people as a collection of strengths and weaknesses, your business will fail.
Take Time Away
You would be forgiven if you presumed that there was no need for team building activities within the family dynamic. However, you would be wrong. Just because you are part of the family, that doesn’t mean any of you are used to working shoulder to shoulder in what can be a high-pressure environment. Therefore, team building activities still need to take place.
There are multiple instances where you can very easily find activities everyone can participate in, like family fun days or cooperative games. These activities can help to reinforce the bond that you have with your family, and at the same time allow the older members of the family to get used to treating the younger members of the family like equal colleagues, and not in the pre-existing parent-child or sibling relationships.
Respect Each Other
For a lot of people, this will be their first experience in running a business, and working alongside their family members in a professional environment. Therefore, you have to allow for the occasional conflict and scuffle, and then accept them for what they are. It becomes very easy for family members who work in business together to become very cynical and distrusting of each other, and become very critical of responsibilities and tasks.
Remember to support each other, and be patient with each other. You’re all finding your way in this brand-new environment, and it can be difficult sometimes to separate the identity you have as a family with your identity as business colleagues for a few hours of the day. However, if you persevere, you will find it becomes much easier and it also gets less difficult to forgive.
In conclusion, running a business together is not easy. When you’re working with your family, things can get a little bit tough to draw the line and establish new boundaries. But if you keep going, and if you keep trying, then it does get easier. There is no doubt that a family-run business can become an incredible force. All you have to do is have the strength to keep pushing forward and be patient with your colleagues. You should treat them with the same level of professionalism you would treat anyone in any corporate environment. If you can move past the initial struggle, then it becomes an incredible chance to develop, to grow as people, and to control your livelihood in a way that you might not have been able to before.