Thinking of opening a business with your family?
There are many thriving family businesses around the world but they are no stranger to conflicts that normal businesses face. I myself am in a family business and am here to share my experience on it which will hopefully help you decide whether it is worth it or not.
1. Everyone Is Invested… But Will Often Clash Heads [restrict]
Since it is a family venture, everyone has a vested interest in seeing the business succeed.
However, because of this devotion to the company, you all may clash heads when you all don’t see eye to eye. This impedes the progress of the company when no one person can agree what direction to take. Especially when everyone has equal footing in the company and there is no clear leader.
So make sure you establish a clear hierarchy so that you will not fall into this trap!
2. You Know Them Well Enough… Or Do You?
Working with your family members is less of a risk than hiring strangers as you know their strengths and weaknesses along with their personalities well. This contributes to a more relaxed environment too as there is no “awkward” period of getting to know the other.
However, it can be a completely different story when it actually comes to working with your family members. If you have never worked with them before, you are experiencing their work ethic first hand, for the first time. You may then realise that it is impossible to work together and by then, it’ll be too late to pull out.
3. Office Politics Or Family Conflict?
Office politics can certainly mess things up. So much effort is put into navigating the confusing office scene that business goals are often neglected. Family businesses tend to be more straight cut.
Although family businesses tend to be more transparent, family conflicts can easily bleed into business matters as well. Emotions can prevent you from working closely together on work matters when a fight happened the day before.
There needs to be a good divide between the business and other family members and this separation must be well maintained.
4. Are You Sure There Are No Biases?
Hiring family members saves time and money. There is no advertising or interviewing process and you can even cut short on the training process.
However, the biases that arise in a family business may not be worth the money saved. Family members may step out of line more often because they feel that you would not dare fire them. These special rights would cause tension with non-family employees and would severely hinder the efficiency of your company as well.
One way to deal with this is to make sure that equal punishment is served when a family member steps out of line and that all promotions are evaluated objectively.
Setting us a business venture with your family must be as practical as setting up a business venture on your own.