How You Should Operate Your Family Business

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Family businesses are a lot to juggle but can be extremely emotionally rewarding at the same time. Where else are you going to find people that are going to stick by you through thick and thin?

We all know persistency and hard work is necessary for success and working with your family can certainly bring you to such heights. But what steps do you need to take to make sure that biases and inefficiency do not plague your business?

Here are 4 simple advises I personally recommend to ensure that objectivity was the foundation of my business.

1. Take Hiring Seriously

Some might think that the recruitment and interviewing process can be done informally or not done at all when it comes to family members. However, this is a very dire mistake that one should not commit. Allowing any family member instant access to your business would inevitably led to them taking it for granted.

Make sure that you interview your family members the same way you interview others. They still need to have skills and experiences that can contribute to your company and have a work ethic that is complementary to the rest of the staff.

There is no need to feel obliged to hire someone just because of your relationship with them. It is counterproductive to your own business and may even worsen family ties at the end of the day.

2. Don’t Practice Favouritism

Biases could run your business into the ground because it encourages inefficiency and creates an unhappy atmosphere with your other staff.

Here are a few things that you should note when it comes to being objective

• Offer a remuneration that is relative to the market rate for their role
• Promote your family members based on merit and not relationship
• Penalties should be equally handed out to anyone that steps out of line

Basically leaving your emotions out of decisions concerning your staff as well as treating all employees equally is the key to remaining objective.

You can make sure that this is carried out on both sides by drawing up a set of rules such as the standards that everyone has to abide to or a guideline to improve and ease communication.

3. Draw The Line

Learn to draw a line between family matters and business matters. This line may be hard to maintain but it is crucial to do so. An overlap can often be overwhelming and simply destructive.

It is as simple as making an agreement to not talk about business at home and vice versa. Make sure that weekends are kept free for family time and that your house is not transformed into a mini office space away from work.

4. Be Firm With Your Finances


Besides being accountable to the business in terms of business goals, you also need to keep your family members accountable to the finances.

Money can be a sensitive issue to breach but it is important to make sure that family members involved in the business bring in sufficient revenue and keep expenses down.

Besides basic cashflow, I would recommend hiring an accountant when it comes to keeping your books. The accountant can be treated as an objective voice so that decisions can be made without any suspicion of biasness.

Actionable Takeaway:

Ultimately it’s important to maintain familial ties and to prioritise your family over profits. The last thing you would want to happen is for your family to fall apart . Finding that balance between running a business and managing your family members is essential to your business’ success.


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