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Tips for Running a Successful Family Business

By Stepha Vesper

Running a business is challenging enough on its own. Adding family into the equation can take that challenge to a whole new level. However, it can definitely be done right—as evidenced by our highly successful franchisees! Here are a few pointers for staying productive, profitable and most importantly, in each other’s good graces, as a family-run business.

Resist the urge to talk shop all the time.
You’re family first and business partners second, so it’s important to make an effort to continue to enjoy each other’s company outside the office. With work on the brain, this might mean you need to make a conscious effort to steer the conversation away from work when you’re relaxing at home. It’s also a good idea to schedule regular family dinners and events where work and work talk is off-limits.

Don’t make new hires within the family—unless it makes sense.
Family members outside your initial partnership might be tempted to consider your business a catch-all for anyone in your clan who needs a job. But nothing will breed resentment faster than hiring your nephew based solely on your relationship, then having to let him go when he isn’t cut out for the work. It’s best to keep a strict “no sympathy jobs” policy. Only hire family members based on the skills and insight they can bring to the business.

Keep things fair.
You know your family members on a personal level first. That means you probably have a good handle on their habits, their positive personality traits and any areas they could use improvement in, too. Resist the urge to use personal experiences as a basis for criticism, and try to give family members the benefit of the doubt. It’s fair to assume that they want to grow the business just as badly as you do. This mindset will help you keep work performance standards the same across the board for all employees and avoid any favoritism when it comes to pay, promotions and scheduling.

Define roles and responsibilities.
With a small family business, it’s highly likely that each member of the team will have a good idea of how to do not just their own work, but others’ jobs as well. Wearing many hats is a sign of a well-rounded worker and is generally considered a good thing. But if everyone has a say in every little thing, communication and conflict will be inevitable. Each family member should have their designated tasks and responsibilities. Reserve group collaboration for big ideas and let each employee handle the more minute details of their position.

Work on clear communication.
Differences of opinion will inevitably arise, just as they do in any business. Establishing a clear line of communication between all employees, both verbal and written, can help nip misunderstandings in the bud before they get out of hand. Having a definitive document, or contract of sorts, can help settle any disputes. Compensation, duties and expectations should be outlined in writing for each role and signed by yourself and the employee. When it comes to verbal communication, try scheduling a weekly meeting to go over plans, strategies and concerns. With an open forum where everyone’s voice is welcome to be heard, you’ll reinforce the value of your family members and help keep a united front.

 

Interested in starting your own NPI franchise? Contact us today.
National Property Inspections has the tools to help you succeed in the property inspection business. Give us a call today at 402-333-9807 ext. 24 to learn more!

 

About the Author
Stepha Vesper, Marketing Communications Specialist
Stepha has more than five years’ experience in marketing, content creation, SEO and copywriting. Her favorite part of her job is assisting franchisees with their digital marketing strategies so they reach their goals that much faster. When she isn’t at work, Stepha is going on adventures with her basset hound, Frank, and husband, Zach, perusing used bookstores, reading or writing.

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National Property Inspections, Inc. is a franchisor and does not perform inspection services.
All services are provided by locally owned and independently operated franchises.