A family business can create a legacy that lasts generations, but it requires a little extra planning and patience. Small business workshops can start you off on the right foot. Here are some tips to keep your family business running smoothly.
Make Sure Everyone Knows Who’s the Boss
In a family business, it can be hard to know who is in charge, particularly when you hire employees who aren’t members of your family. Have a clear hierarchy of authority and explain it to each member of the company. Holding regular company meetings can allow everyone to feel involved in the business while maintaining a clear leadership direction. Always enforce the chain of command equally among family members and outside hires.
Have Clear Employee Expectations
A business can’t succeed if its employees don’t work efficiently. Assign specific responsibilities to members of the business and hold them accountable to perform as required. Offer training if necessary. Doing these things will keep family rivalries at bay and provide an appealing sense of professionalism to any non-family members your company may hire.
Scott Deming recommends requiring family employees to work at an outside company before hiring them. This experience ensures that they develop a sense of workplace expectations and develop good work habits that will strengthen your business when you bring them on board. It also allows you to observe their work habits as an outsider and determine whether they would be a good fit for your company.
Incentivize and Constructively Critique Fairly
Once you’ve established employee expectations and the chain of command, the key to maintaining a strong company is to reward or critique based on performance. Promotions based on nepotism rather than skill and aptitude will weaken the company and could drive other good employees away. Offer criticism and guidance when necessary. While this may cause short-term strife, it will strengthen your business in the long run. Small business workshops can also help identify areas of improvement and facilitate employer-employee communication.
Separate Work and Family Life
While working together can build family bonds, bringing work home and to family gatherings can make your business seem like a 24-hour job. Lead by example and allow family time to be family time. Leave work at the office. Don’t use family nicknames at the office, and in your interactions with your family members, always be courteous and professional. These practices help keep work stress from bleeding into family relationships, and they allow you to offer criticism and praise as an employer rather than as a parent or sibling.
Seek Assistance if Needed
If your family business needs a little tough love, Scott Deming can help. Scott is a business veteran who has spent over thirty years in the corporate world. Put him to work for your business by scheduling business consulting services today.