Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

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Running a Business With Family: Six Tips for Success

Working with the different personalities in your family business is a challenge. You all won’t see eye to eye on every issue, but you do share a desire to make the business profitable so that it will continue to support the family. Here are six tips for success to keep the family business running smoothly throughout the year:

Maintain open communication

Each member of the family may work in a different functional area of the business. There is at least one person who assumes the role of the top leader, or it could be a group of people. All of the people who have equal shares in the company or some kind of financial stake in the company deserve to receive updates on the most important happenings. This should include transparency in reporting the company’s financial status.

Use respectful language

This is especially important in front of customers and non-family employees. The future of the company rests in part on its public reputation. You want to ensure that family members, as officers and employees of the business, watch how they communicate in person, online, in writing, and using other technologies.

Deal with problems before they become unmanageable

Some issues may require consulting with a service like that offered by Alternative Law. People with issues such as money management and different perspectives on the best executive strategy can work out a plan to resolve issues before they can fracture the company from within. Help from professionals may be the best option, as unwilling or difficult family members may not come to a reasonable agreement without a third party.

Choose the right family members to handle customer complaints

Some of your family members are better equipped than others to deal with angry customers. You don’t want to place family members or employees in this role without proper training and appropriate conflict resolution skills. At the same time, this job is easy to divide up or rotate among employees with the right skill set.

Provide time away from work for family

You all may see each other too much at work and at home. Strive for a balance between work and personal time. Every family member also needs time off. Plan gatherings for the family that have nothing to do with the business.

Budget for training and development needs

Family members want to stay engaged with their work. It’s easy to burn out. If you earmark funds for their professional growth, family members can evolve as long-term workers in the company.

Make the company stronger by trying these tips for running the business. It’s crucial to collaborate and maintain a positive company culture, for both business owners and customers.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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