Starting any business is a huge investment of resources, including money, time, and emotion. Making it a family business is a good way to ensure a trusted support team to help you shoulder the burdens. In fact, most new businesses in this country – about 90% – are family owned and operated small businesses. But working with family doesn’t always eliminate the conflict. If you’re planning on starting a family business, read on for some tips to help you along the way.
Have A Plan
When you decide to start a family business, you need to create a detailed business plan and the planning process should include all involved parties. It is important that everyone be on the same page in regards to the details of the business you hope to run. Decide whether you plan to start your business from scratch or buy a turn-key business, how you want to market your business, what your company mission will be, who will manage the general operations of the business, and how the finances will work. These can be complex, emotional topics, so it is important to be clear and honest while discussing them.
Know Your Roles
Everyone involved in the business should have a clearly defined role, and each role should be very clear about its required tasks. Having specific roles and jobs will decrease the chance for conflict. You should also determine the process for hiring people into new roles and assigning tasks in the future.
Prepare For Conflict
There will inevitably be conflict or a difference of opinion along the way while starting and running your business. It is important to establish how you will settle these disputes, whether that be one person having the final say, everything being put to a vote, or something else. Make sure that everyone knows and agrees with this before moving forward.
Establish Future Aspirations
While it is important to keep your eye on the current details when you’re starting a business, it is also important to have a sense of your long term goals and to discuss them with your family. It will make for a rocky road if you plan to build and sell the business but the rest of your family intends to have a long-term family business. Once you and your family discuss your intentions, establish a plan of succession and exit strategy for anyone who knows this is a short term endeavor from the beginning.
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