Building a business is hard. Being close with family members both immediate and extended can be hard. Put those things together and you have an endeavor that is extremely hard – but, worth it. Maintaining both of these areas of life – business and family – requires a great deal of commitment, dedication and love. When they are combined, it requires a level of love, appreciation, forgiveness, trust, etc. that can only be developed with hard work.
It’s Not Just About Blood
To maintain a successful family business across different branches of the family in multiple generations is challenging, but at the core of it, the heart of your success is your strong family. They will be there for you like no one else. Even if there are times when it’s not all that rosy, when things start to go pear-shaped, you will have people that will stand by you through the worst life can throw at you, because they’re your blood—they are your family.
However, in many circumstances both in business and personal lives, blood isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for being “family.” Connections with others outside the family may be as strong as blood and often our family businesses are built hand-in-hand with the dearest of friends who are family. The key message is: have someone to love, and who loves you.
Consider the following as you seek to strengthen your family business:
- Be clear about what your family believes in and stands for. When you have good values, solid values, people recognize that. It’s often what differentiates a family business from a non-family one. That trust not only creates a sense of unity and a greater bond between team members, but it also serves as the rich soil in which loyalty, mutual respect, honesty, and a sense of responsibility can grow.
- Appreciate the talents of each family member. Each individual has a set of talents and skills that can be an asset to your business. In addition to family, seek out talent that actively compliments the culture you are striving to build.
- Invest in your family and team. Providing opportunities for education and training helps team members improve their knowledge in specific fields. This not helps them become more invested but also positions them as an even more valuable asset in your company.
- Foster healthy communication with each other. It’s imperative as family members and family members who are running a business to exercise open and transparent communication with one another, even when it is difficult. Work to create an environment where individuals are comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Family members should feel that they matter and that they will be heard.
Building a successful family business will require strengthening your family at its core – whether they are blood or not. Cherish the relationships around you and work together to create something greater than yourselves. Learn more about operating successful family businesses by reading my book, https://amzn.to/2GBksFQ