Building a family business is hard work, and that itself is an understatement! Think about it: you’re trying to build a legacy here and leave something behind for your children, and that takes a lot of care. But when you’re putting your business together, you can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle.
After all, your family may not be all that interested quite yet, and you’ve got a long way to go before reaching success. However, you’re already on a good path and we’ve got some excellent tips below to help you keep going.
Have Open, Honest Discussions
Being open and honest with your family over the plans you have for their future is key. You need to communicate like never before – you can’t just rope everyone in and expect them to be happy. So take your time going round and ensuring everyone is on the same page. If one of your kids doesn’t want to get involved, for example, it’s best to know that as soon as possible. But if your sister is up for a managerial role, she’d love to know ahead of time so she can get her ducks in a row!
Have a Business Life and a Family Life
If you want to encourage your kids to get involved with the company, you’ll need to draw some lines first of all. You’ll need to make certain that you have a separate home life together and then a business life together – blurring the two can end in tears! This is especially true when you’ve got more than one family member getting involved; even a simple rule of ‘no personal talk’ on the shop floor can iron out any and all potential problems.
Create a Personable Workplace Atmosphere
If you want your business to feel like a true family business, you’ll need to curate an atmosphere of positivity. You want anyone who works for you to feel like one of the family, even if they’re not your kids or other relatives. And when you can share this kind of camaraderie with everyone on the payroll, the work will go over a lot smoother! You can still make good use of boundaries in this situation, but you’ll also have a true home away from home.
Write Your Will
And finally, it’s time to write your will concerning your business plans. You’ve got to leave your business to someone when you pass, and if you don’t retire before that point or you work together as a family and all have an equal stake, things need to be set out clearly. So start by talking to a probate litigation attorney; when you know how to work out the value of your assets, and how best they should be divided up, you can face the future with ease.
Building a family business is a lifelong venture. To ensure you’ve got a good company to pass on, use the advice given by David Shulick and the tips mentioned above to create a strong and stable foundation.
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