Family Business: How To Make It Successful
10to8 scheduler software is trusted by over 42,000 businesses worldwide, many of which are family businesses. Starting and running a family business is equally challenging as it is rewarding. Family businesses generate over a quarter of UK GDP and around 21% of government revenue. Furthermore, family businesses also tend to invest more into employees’ professional and personal improvement. They are more loyal to each other and the local community. As family businesses are willing to make sacrifices and rethink short term goals, they can be more successful in the long run.
Separate personal and professional life
If you are serious about your company, you have to separate family and business for the sake of both. Keep family dynamics outside of the workplace: they are your colleagues.
It is pivotal to set boundaries. There are topics that shouldn’t be mentioned during office hours and others that should only be discussed while working. This applies to your personal time too: don’t steal valuable time from your family by checking work emails or even just allowing your thoughts to race around business.
Decide on a decision maker
This can be extremely difficult, especially when the decision maker of the family is not the same as in the business.
This person should be someone who is capable of making difficult business related decisions even under pressure. It seems to be very simple, however, sometimes people fall into the trap of thinking that making great household decisions equates to being able to do the same for a business.
It is also important that the decision maker is trusted and respected, yet at the same time never take advantage of his/her position.
Move away from handshake agreements. Disputes happen even in the most harmonic families and the best way to clear the air is to have everything in writing.
Formalizing major settlements is also a good way of enabling easy decision tracking in the future. By being able to see the circumstances in which a contract was made can help make valuable conclusions. What’s spoken flies, what’s written never dies.
Plan the future
Setting long term goals is not only important in order to grow the business, but to make sure that if something bad happens, there’s a plan to be set in motion.
A survey showed, that one of the biggest mistakes that family-run businesses make is not having a thought-through strategy for the long run, nonetheless, they want the business to be intergenerational.
The researchers found that without the necessary arrangements 51% of these businesses would need to close after the unexpected death or critical illness of the business owner. You know: hope for the best, plan for the worst.
Communication is key
This might be a cliche, yet it’s true. This is probably the most important tip of all. Block out some time every week to talk about business with your team. Put together an agenda, include everybody in the meeting, and listen to each other. Mention important happenings, projects, deadlines so everybody is aware of what’s going on. Also make time to raise issues. Everyone should be able to talk honestly about the problems they are faced with during the week and ask for help. This meeting must be a ‘safe place’ where people can raise a matter without having to fear any consequences.
Here’s a mini agenda to help you:
- Things that went well; mention achievements that made you feel proud
- Things that went badly; problems that you are faced with that might need some help to resolve
- Things we should do more of; pleasant experiences through the week e.g. outings, a tasty biscuit you discovered or a fruitful conversation with a co-worker
- Things we should do less of; unpleasant experiences like working too late one evening or a disagreement
- Actions;write down actions and names against them, and make sure they are followed up
Get into the habit of doing this the same time every week. If you need to, use scheduler software to simplify this process further..
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Anna, whose middle name is Hashtag, is an enthusiastic Digital Marketing Executive. She drinks her coffee with cream and Instagram, retweets (almost) every fun fact about koalas and never misses an interesting Facebook webinar about exciting new features.
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