How to Start a Successful Family Business

Misbah Akhtar

Nothing is more important than family, which is why a family business can be an exciting and rewarding adventure for all members. Of course, you don’t want to jeopardise the precious relationship with your loved ones, or negatively affect their livelihood, which may be one reason why launching a business together hasn’t happened yet. Running a successful business with your nearest and dearest is possible, however, if you take the time to start on the right foot.

Set Boundaries

Did you know that only 42% of all family businesses in the UK have any clear plan in place for succession and only 30% make it to the second generation? One of the reasons could be due to family drama. It’s easy for personal and professional lives to intermingle when running a family business. Before you start creating a business plan and seeking investment, you must set boundaries on how to manage family conflict, so it doesn’t affect the workplace. Agreements and processes can ultimately prevent personal drama from negatively impacting the business. If you can’t reach an agreement on how to handle conflict at work, take it as a red flag and avoid entering business together.

Hire Family Members Based on Ability

Many family members might be tempted to give a company position to a family member to avoid conflict, but this is a big mistake. There are bound to be many different personalities, and not everyone will be suited to select roles. For instance, you shouldn’t make a loved one the president of the company just because they’re the matriarch or patriarch of the family. You should only hire family members who have the skills and experience to perform well in a role.

Implement New Strategies

A forward-thinking attitude can set a company apart from its competition. Just because your parents or grandparents ran the company a certain way, it does not mean you must follow in their footsteps. If you want to become or remain an industry leader, you need to continually implement new strategies for the business to both flourish and grow.

For example, traditional bricks and mortar store might have performed well once upon a time, but a digital marketing strategy could help a company compete with modern competitors and increase the bottom-line. For instance, you can hire link building services, start a social media campaign, or launch a PPC strategy to uplevel your business. It could help your company survive throughout the decades, as you can successfully keep up with new and established businesses in your industry.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

It’s important not to lose sight of your reasons for launching a family-owned business. After all, you will have started the venture to spend more time together and share in the fruits of each other’s labour. There will more than likely be times when you will disagree, clash or feel a little stressed, which is why it’s vital to make time for some fun. Go out for drinks after the working day, celebrate in each other’s small or large victories, and try to spend quality time together outside of the workplace. Doing so will help you to maintain a stronger bond and, in turn, develop a stronger business.

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