Family businesses are the backbone of the American economy. According to a study by Forbes, family businesses account for more than 70% of all businesses in the United States. And while there are many advantages to running a family business, there are also some unique challenges that need to be overcome to be successful. In this article, we will discuss tips on how to run a family business successfully!
1. Establish clear hierarchies and rules.
If you don't establish clear hierarchies and rules, running a family business can become chaotic quickly. This is especially important if you have multiple people working for your family business, such as your children or grandchildren. It's also important to set boundaries around issues like work hours and personal time so that the business doesn't infringe on your time and vice versa.
2. Make a family mission statement.
Take some time with your family to establish a mission statement so that everyone is clear about what your family business stands for and what you want to accomplish as a unit. You can use this as a compass moving forward, especially if the business goes through changes over time.
3. Hold meetings to update everyone on business activities and decisions being made.
In addition to family meetings, establish a protocol for scheduling regular business meetings so that everyone has an opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas about how your family business is running at any given time. Regular updates also allow you to make necessary changes as a family unit before the business gets off track.
4. Support family members involved in the business, even if they're not performing as you'd like them to be.
Family can sometimes blur the lines between work and personal relationships, which can cause some friction among family members. However, it's important that everyone feels supported no matter their role or level of involvement.
5. Don't let family distractions get in the way of business success.
This is a somewhat counterintuitive tip, but family members mustn't allow outside distractions like spouses and children to take away from their work and responsibilities at the family business. If you can maintain your focus as a group, you'll be in a better position to run your family business successfully.
6. Don't rely on social media alone when communicating with the entire family.
Social media is great for real-time communication, but it can't replace face-to-face interactions or interpersonal relationships when maintaining good communication within the family unit. Try to meet up as a family unit at least quarterly and make regular weekly phone calls and video chats to stay in touch with each other.
7. Have your entire family contribute to the running of the business.
Don't rely exclusively on the opinions and ideas of one or two individuals within your family – involve everyone instead! This not only creates buy-in among your family members, but it also gives them the sense that they're all working together towards a common goal.
All the best!
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