Essential Tips Every Successful Family Business Should be Aware of

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Running a successful business - it’s everyone’s dream isn’t it, if we’re honest? 

Being your own boss, seeing your ideas turn into reality, making a difference and feeling inspired every day.  If only it was that easy…

And, when those plans involve the launch of a family business, a whole extra set of difficulties can arise. 

But they don’t have to…

Manage the situation - before that happens

If you don\t manage the situation effectively, you can soon be faced with internal family conflicts - and bruised egos. So it’s always best to set some strong ground rules - and anticipate any issues before they arise.

Feel passion for what you do

It goes without saying really, but try to make sure your business plans reflect things that everyone is passionate about.  It means you’ll really know your product or service - and its market - and give you the energy to pull together and succeed.

Have good communication

You might assume you all understand each other perfectly - but starting a company together will be unchartered territory!

So make sure you determine your values before you do anything further - and your joint goals and aspirations too.  Set out all roles and responsibilities clearly - and arrange regular meetings to analyse progress. 

Know yourself - and each other

You need to truly know yourself to be successful  - and that means accepting both your strengths and weaknesses.  And when you start a family business, it’s also about being honest about good points - and foibles.

Does anyone tend to be disorganised, for example?  Find ways to address that; set SMART goals, for example, don’t prevaricate. And likewise learn the importance of identifying everyone’s uptime and downtime.

Set management plans

And, expanding on that idea, it’s a good plan to create a set of business management ‘competencies’.  Developing a grid and grade process will help you assess the skills of everyone who would like to be a manager.  This helps you look at the situation more objectively - and form a clear structure based on abilities.

Ask an expert

If there are tasks you’re not good at, and none of your family members have the right skill set either - don’t be afraid to employ experts.  We can’t all be good at everything, after all.

Find a great accountant, hire someone to help you with business law - and then focus your time on the things you excel in.

Be inspirational

If you’ll be heading up the new business, remember - this might be your family but you still need to inspire them.  People need praise and promotion after all - and your relatives deserve to work in a happy environment.  And nothing will be less productive or more damaging for your futures than anyone feeling unmotivated or resentful.
We hope you’ve found these few tips useful - and now understand the kinds of challenges that could lie ahead of you.  But with just a few pointers and some appropriate boundaries, a family business can be one to be reckoned with.

Good luck...

Alison Morgan