First, make sure you have clear and concise guidelines for entering the family business. This may include considerations such as age, educational attainment, marriage, and even financial stability. The guidelines should be fair to all and easy to understand. The reasoning for these requirements should be clearly defined as well, as to leave little room for interpretation.
Your expectations and goals for each member of the business should also accompany these guidelines for entering the business. Outlining goals and expectations is common in any business. All expectations should be directly related to the position the family member takes within the company. Therefore, should the family member leave the business and the position goes to a non-family member, guidelines are clearly expressed. This way, nepotism cannot factor into the position’s expectations, causing problems down the line.
Address the Issues
The key is to remember this: in family business, it is never just business. Each person involved in the business is a person you see outside of the office on a regular basis. It is human nature to feel emotions over unresolved issues. Since the other party is still someone you must encounter regularly, you cannot simply leave your work problems at work. If you allow an issue to percolate over time, a small speck on the horizon can become a looming problem. The issue can become the center of your relationship outside of the office. This can lead to divorce, family rifts, and an overall unhappy life. Dealing with the issue immediately allows you to clear the air before it becomes something more serious.
To learn more about helping your family business be both successful and functional, contact the family business experts at Hubler for Business Families at (612) 375-0640.