Some Tips to Managing a Family Business
If you are already in business with family then you are possibly experiencing frustrations with people not doing their jobs or not doing them properly or professionally. Ultimately the busines is probably not performing in the optimal way. You need to take action now!
A few quick tips:
1. All family members need to accept the business needs to be run more professionally to grow revenue and profits.
2. Acknowledge and accept each family member’s skills and experience and that you may not know best.
3. Clearly define and document each job description in the business regardless of who actually does that job currently.
4. Clearly define, agree on and implement practical formal business processes and controls (including job descriptions) into the business. The key word is practical. It’s a family business and GE or Shell formal business processes won’t fit but a practical scaled down version will. Big business tools for small business.
5. Go through a “recruitment process” where each family members applies for their role or the role they want. Get external impartial people to assist in the appointment process so you have an “umpire”. Match the skills and experience in 2 above with the job decriptions in 3. Put all emotions aside in this process – ultimately the family business is the most important thing not individual family members emotional power plays etc.
Then run the business as all good successful family businesses have run over the years – like a big business with formal tools and processes. Each person is responsible for their part of the business and their tasks as per their job description. They can be held accountable fro their work and the performance of that part of the business. If they struggle then the business management can be changed accordingly through the formal business processes. The key points – be practical and be unemotional as possible when looking at business performance.
Examples of successful family businesses over the years include:
Saatchi and Saatchi
Your business can be this big if you can accept that you need to run your business using formal business tools as discussed above.