BizBritain Blog

Top tips for running a successful family business

Posted on April 28th, 2017

In 2015, smallbusiness.co.uk reported that family businesses were responsible for a quarter of the UK's GDP. So, if you are running a family business or about to, take heart that there's hardly a shortage of people who have been in your situation and went on to soar. Still, this doesn't take away from the need to follow particular practices to ensure that your family needs and corporate needs are both being consistently met. These two types of needs could work in tandem.

Family business

Arrange weekly corporate meetings

At these meetings, any personal and family issues should be set aside to leave the focus on the main business aims. To encourage the productivity of these meetings, you should ensure that the agenda remains strict. Each of the meetings could even be facilitated by a suitable third party, such as the company's accountant or solicitor. Plus, when non-family employees are in attendance, make sure that they are truly integrated into the group and give just as much weight to their contributions.

Choose strictly the right family members

If someone from your family wants to join your corporate ranks, make sure that they have the right qualities and experience to do the job well. It's worth checking, for example, that they have already developed relevant experience outside of your company. You should also resist handing out "sympathy" jobs to relatives who wouldn't genuinely excel in those roles. If a relative's skills base doesn't align with what the job entails, they won't add to your company's success.

Keep an open mind about utilising external help

One risk of operating a family business is that the workers can be too closed in their thinking. The company could actually be revitalised when you are willing to make use of an outside source's knowledge and assistance. Let's assume, for example, that a high-level part of your company's building needs to be repaired or cleaned. It could be too unsafe for a relative to do that job; thus, you could outsource it to a Rope Access Specialist.

Despite the strong family presence, avoid favouritism

Your family workers could significantly drive much of the company's success on the back of their abundant enthusiasm and energy; however, there's a pitfall to heed if some of your workers aren't related to you. That pitfall is treating them as favourites. Across all of your employees, pay levels, praise, criticism and expectations should remain based strictly on their success and attributes as employees - not on whether they are members of your family.

Think business first and family second

There might be occasional instances where difficulty in a family member's life adversely affects their ability to help your company. However, generally, when trying to make that company a success, you should consider corporate matters more strongly than family issues. Looking after the business is crucial to ensuring that it can look after your family, which will be very reliant on the money that this company brings in. Endeavour to keep the firm running smoothly.

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