Managing a Family-Owned Business Tips

 In Blog, Educational Issues

Family-owned business makes up a large portion of small businesses around the country, yet the challenges they face are exclusive.

Some of the largest and most successful companies are family-owned businesses.  According to the SBA, 90% of small businesses are family-owned and operated.  Surprisingly, 60% of family-owned businesses don’t make it to the second generation and 87% never make it to the third.

Here are some tips for managing the particularly unique challenges family-owned businesses face:

  • Establish expectations, roles and responsibilities for each family member.  As with any employee, family members should understand their defined boundaries and expectations.  Without clarity, conflict arises.
  • Put it in writing.  People have short memories.  This can lead to disagreements about the simplest things, causing tempers to flare.
  • Create a conflict resolution plan.  Determine in advance a way to resolve disagreements in order to protect your work environment as well as your relationships.
  • Keep personal baggage at home.  In the workplace, decisions must be objective, not personal.  Unprofessional conduct ultimately affects the bottom line.
  • Establish a succession plan.  It is critical to identify who will drive the business going forward and set parameters for what to do if the business fails.  This plan should be reviewed on a consistent basis.  Family members and key advisers should be involved in planning the future as a team effort.
  • Create a governing structure.  It is particularly important to have non-family advisers as well as an advisory board.  These independent experts – such as your attorney, CPA, insurance adviser and banker – are also helpful in planning the financial and legal steps of your succession plan.

Instead of focusing solely on “building the family business,” successful organizations focus on “building a business family.”

If you have any questions about your business, give us a call at 559.924.1225 and we will be happy to discuss with you.

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