Once upon a time, nearly all businesses were family-oriented. Husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and cousins used to work alongside each other for nearly all of their lives. However, the idea of a family business has now become antiquated for the most part. Furthermore, there are some compelling reasons NOT to go into business with close friends or family members at all. On the other hand, though, it is still possible to start, maintain, and run a family business with great aplomb. Just make sure to follow these four helpful hints:
Set Hard Boundaries
The biggest challenge to running a family business is learning to separate personal from professional relationships. Though it may be difficult, family members need to know when to focus on business and leave their emotions out of the decision-making process. Familial grudges, affinities, and preferences can undermine a company’s integrity and make it difficult to make progress. What’s more, it’s crucial to get every major business agreement put in writing. It may seem unnecessary now, but legally binding documents are a necessary part of running a family business.
Family-run businesses do hold one major advantage over their competitors: the perception toward family businesses is largely positive. It’s typically a good idea to leverage that goodwill and to play up the familial connections within your business in marketing and advertising material. Let the world know that your company is more about dollars and cents –– it’s about people. Doing so will help you establish trust in your industry.
Bring in Outside Help
Family members who decide to go into business together probably share many of the same interests, skills, and personality traits. And while that’s a good thing in many regards, it can also work to limit your business’s potential. That’s why it’s typically a good idea for family-run business owners to employ individuals who aren’t related to them to help advance the company in meaningful ways. Eventually, all businesses need to evolve and adapt to new ideas. Assembling a capable, trusted team can help you do just that.
Balance Tradition & Technology
As mentioned above, family businesses are increasingly rare. Instead, they’re more or less considered relics of a bygone era. The good news is, you can use the traditional nature of a family business to immediately win customer approval. Nevertheless, you also need to know how to integrate modern technology into your setup. As much as consumers may find the idea of a family business charming, they still value contemporary amenities. So whether you need to install a pharmacy POS system for your location, or create an ecommerce store for your business, don’t let traditional values stunt growth. Rather, find a happy medium between tradition and tech!