Family Business – The Key to Success

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Having a family business can be a very rewarding experience.  In order to be successful in your business you need to establish a few guidelines:

  1. Establish a business plan with a mission and clear chain of command.
  2. Make sure everyone is aware of the company business plan/mission and is on board.
  3. All employees (family members and non-family members) have defined roles, responsibilities and performance reviews.
  4. All employees have equal opportunities for advancement.
  5. Establish a succession plan for the business.

It is important not to give special treatment or extra privileges, such as a company car, to family members over employees that are not family members.   Competence and merit alone should be the basis of promotion.

Control, a sense of entitlement and history can become issues between family members.  It is imperative that the business is managed in a professional manner, even if a mediator or consultant is used to work through any issues.  Having a board or family council to make important decisions can remove some of the pressures of running a family business.  The company should not be dependent on just one person – if that person were to die suddenly or retire the entire company could be in jeopardy. Succession planning will allow the company to go on if anything unexpected happens.

Running a family business can be enjoyable and profitable and can establish a legacy for your family. Make sure you and your family are well prepared to take on the challenge.