Have you ever thought how great it would be to start a business with your spouse, sibling, or best friend? Maybe you want to start a business that can provide for your children after you retire.
Family businesses are a big part of what makes our nation successful. The idea that someone can start a business and build a successful brand that can then be passed down through family to future generations has inspired many of the small businesses that are flourishing today.
But are there some drawbacks to starting a family business? Are there challenges that are unique to these ventures?
However, starting a family business is easier said than done. Here are things to consider if you are planning on starting a business with your family.
1. A solid plan is necessary. Even if it’s a small time business, it is still in fact a business and it needs legal protection, a well thought out business plan and marketing strategies, as well as competent management and partners.
2. A consultation with a professional. When you have your business plan already sorted out, it also helps when you have an expert playing on the field to point out some of the missing parts of your business plan. It never hurts to ask for help and considering this as a business that you want to thrive for years to come, then their expert opinions matter. A non-family member is perfect for the role so that you have an unbiased advice that will help you avoid some conflicts and steer you in the right path in terms of expanding your business.
3. Setting the rules. Having a set of rules is essential so that you can build and cultivate a culture for your family business. All members of the family should be driven in what the business’ vision and mission are and when everyone has a synchronized mindset this makes striving towards a common goal much easier. This also proves to be helpful in terms of preserving a company culture wherein there is no nepotism and only encourages fairness and equality.
4. The person in charge. Even with the open culture, sharing decisions with other members of the family can be difficult because there will be situations when ideas will clash together and disagreements arise. This is normal for a business which is why you need someone who can filter and assess all these thoughts and ideas and make a final decision. You have to identify the person who will be in charge and the one who gets to have the final say.
5. Mutual respect and clear communication are critical. In a non-family business you can go home and complain to your spouse about your lousy boss or frustrating employees. In family businesses,you those "stressors" are often at home with you. Calmly and respectfully dealing with issues when they arise (instead of letting small things build up into giant problems) helps maintain an atmosphere of professionalism that your entire company will benefit from.