02/06/2015 | By Scott Siegal
We are constantly meeting new members who operate a family owned business. This presents a unique management scenario. If business is slow, are family dinners stressful and tense?
Maybe you find yourself struggling to lead the business into a new era while your elders seems stuck in the good old days? Family is tough enough to navigate with the politics of business and financial statements getting in the way.
How do you move your business and your family forward at the same time? We can think of four points to remember as you plan for the future of your family business.
Four New Rules for A Family Owned Business
According to the Family Business Institute, “Only about 30 percent survive beyond the founder’s generation, and just 12 percent make it to a third.”
But, don’t get discouraged! Here are four ways to rewrite the old rules and steer your family into the future.
- Write it down, make it happen. This is especially important for your mission and values statements. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
- Transparency is necessary. Open, honest communication creates a clear sense of direction. Whether you are talking about finances or job progress, beating around the bush never helps anyone.
- Boundaries are healthy. At work, a business matter is about business. Beyond that family comes first. The ability to identify the difference between work matters and family matters will save everyone a whole lot of stress.
- Create a succession plan. No one wants to talk about the day that dad will need to retire. But, everyone needs to know what will happen in the event that something does happen. And, the goal is to keep the business in the family. You need a plan, even if it means an uncomfortable conversation.
We understand that writing a snappy new mission statement may not bring everyone together, but working together to secure your families future is always a step in the right direction.
Adding Family Value
There is one more item we would add to the list: When we treat everyone like family, everyone wins. You may find that you need an outsiders opinion from time to time, don’t exclude them just because they are not technically family.
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