Building a successful family business takes more than just good planning and hard work.
To be truly successful, you need to be able to manage conflict that inevitably arises when multiple family members are involved in running the business.
Oftentimes, home-based businesses, (such as a direct to film printing business) are family-run – whether it be a husband-wife team, or even the kids are helping out to some extent
When it’s family-run, this can be a great benefit to the business, but it can also create different challenges, with potential for conflict unless you follow some simple but firm rules.
To start, here are our 4 top tips for avoiding conflicts in your family business:
- Set clear boundaries from the beginning. Make sure everyone knows their role in the business and what is expected of them. If there is any confusion about these things, problems will quickly arise as different family members try to take on roles that aren’t theirs or ignore important responsibilities altogether.
- Establish open communication channels from the start. The best way to avoid serious disagreements between family members when you’re running a direct-to-film business is to make sure everyone always feels like they can come to you with their concerns and ideas. This means being open to suggestions, actively listening to feedback, and creating a safe environment for people to voice their opinions.
- Practice diplomacy when dealing with conflict. If a disagreement does arise between family members, it’s important not to take sides or get too involved in the nitty-gritty details of the situation. Instead, try to facilitate honest conversations by gently reminding everyone of their roles and responsibilities in the business, and encouraging them to work together towards a solution that is fair for all parties involved.
- Involve outside experts as needed. There will be times when family dynamics make it difficult for you or your fellow owners to maintain calm when resolving issues within the business. In these situations, it may be helpful to seek help from outside experts like business coaches or counselors who can offer a fresh perspective and impartial advice.
You’ll use these tips in each of the following areas to help you learn the habits of building a successful family-based business.
Defining Set Roles
When you bring on family members as employees, it can be difficult to determine what they are capable of. Your spouse might not have been confident enough in talking with people or cold calling so training could help them become better at these things and allow your business to grow together! You also need time for everyone’s skillset – don’t expect the kids right away because teaching new techniques takes patience; keep providing support until we get there.
You might be surprised at how much your family members can contribute to the success of their new company. Some people are better suited than others for cold-calling and talking with strangers, but no matter what role they take on in life as part of this team – training will help them grow into stronger employees who share expenses equally while working hard together!
Determining what your family members can handle at work is a great challenge. They might not have been confident enough talking with people or cold calling, so training could help them become better in these skills and allow the business to grow together! You also need time for everyone’s abilities – don’t expect kids right away because teaching new techniques takes patience; keep providing support until we get there
You can’t just give your family roles they like. Just like you’re probably going to have do things that don’t agree with, the same goes for them! Packaging t-shirts into individual bags might not be fun but we still need to – no matter how much it makes us uncomfortable or unhappy at times (or often!).
Explore Starting a Direct to Film Business
Separate Work & Personal
When you work with your family, it can be hard to separate the two. If that’s the case for yourself or if others in charge of running things have employees under them then take some time out today and think about how these people feel when we’re discussing personal matters at their workplace/office? Makes most likely quite uncomfortable isn’t necessarily wrong but maybe saying something more along those lines would help alleviate any awkwardness!
It is important that you set boundaries for where and when it’s okay to talk about work. These should be clear, so people know what they are allowed or not allowed to discuss at any given time- whether on the job, during lunch break etcetera. On one side of this boundary there will always lurk coworkers who want details; however, if we’re home alone together then anything goes!
Solve Problems and Face Them Quickly
There are many reasons why you might feel inclined to let your family member’s issues slide. But just like any other relationship problem, it’s best if we address them early on in order for things not to get too complicated or worse yet… achieves nothing!
Remembering that they (and by extension) our company counts on us will help keep professionalism at work while also making sure each party feels confident about their position within the organization–even if there isn’t always agreement out
If you and your family member are unable to come up with an agreement, it may be best for the business. You should also consider finding different roles for him or her if that continues to be a problem in order to maintain efficiency within operations while still maintaining good relationships with both parties involved.
In order to have productive conversations, it’s important that the team/department represents all walks of life and has clear aims. When discussions become heated or personal arguments enter into conversation boundaries then there will be no productivity gains from these meetings as they continue along their merry way without much input other than brainstorming ideas that might not even work out anyway!
Engage in Mentoring and Bring in the Experts
While it is important to have a board of directors who are involved in the day-to-day operations and decision-making, you should also consider having an outside mentor. You can start by checking in with your manufacturer to see if they have experts that can help resolve conflicts that might arise surrounding the t-shirt printing equipment.
A person with expertise on building successful businesses can provide objective feedback for your company; they might even act as a mediator if there’s debate among members about whether or how much money should be spent researching new machines/expanding into markets etcetera
Might sound like the advice given before but worth repeating since many people forget this key point:
Making Time for Personal Time
For some people, working with their family all day is enough. They want to spend time alone as well and not feel like they are neglecting anyone by only having personal interactions outside the workplace or home environment (even if this might be true).
For these individuals it can actually help maintain a healthy lifestyle because even though you’re spending more one-on-one than usual – whether that means going on walks together at lunchtime/after work; taking trips around town without kids in tow; sitting down DHo reading books–you still have those moments where there isn’t any noise pollution coming through your bedroom window.
Who’s Taking Over? – Always Have an Exit Plan
The question of succession often comes up in a family-run business. While this may not be something you have to worry about for quite some time, it is still important that the whole team works together and dialogues on how we will continue our legacy when someone needs or wants to succeed as leader/CEO
The future success of our company relies heavily upon how well everyone works together- from current employees who will carry out their duties until retirement or death; all way through children educated by parents’ vision handed down over generations past ̵
Perhaps your kids don’t want to take over the business, what then? Do you hand it to a relative or simply sell it?
If your kids do want to take over the business, and you have more than one, you’re going to need to define some rules and have a solid transition plan. Perhaps this plan includes training on accounting or sales. Whatever it is, start defining it early, so that when you do want to retire the transition is easier for everyone (including your clients).
As a small business, having your family support you and work alongside you can be amazing. You’re all working towards a single, common goal. Keep that in mind, and it’ll help you to stay positive, even though all the arguments.
Communication is key to working together. Set your business priorities and give everyone responsibilities that are clearly defined. Work through difficulties together, and ask for help when you need it – whether it be your mentor or a new employee.
Once your family business finds its groove, you may be surprised at how well everyone works together, and how that energy can positively impact your business.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to build a successful family business that will grow and thrive for years to come. And with the right planning and support, you can enjoy many happy years of working alongside your loved ones.