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The family business


One of the greatest moments in life is when you start a family business or you've been entrusted to manage one. Once the eurphoria wears off and the dust settles...employee dynamics begin. One thing is certain, things become more complicated when spouses, parents, children and other family members are involved in the process. But you can avoid potential wars and conflicts by having an awareness of the pitfalls and by having a willingness to work together. Stay out of the rough. It helps to make a clear distinction and to establish a boundary between work and home. Take the time to clearly define roles and responsibilities and assign roles, based on the strengths of each employee. Treat non-family employees the same as family members by enforcing equity among all. Also, take into account the generational differences and value systems between baby boomers and millennials to minimize disruption. The millennials will offer more up-to-date ideas, so take advantage of those initiatives that will allow your business to grow and succeed. Stay focused when making decisions. Find a way to bridge the gap between making relatives feel that they are being heard and managing a professional business. Be a listener, but realize that the decision-makers have to do what is best for the company as a whole. The business must be managed as a business first or else everyone will be looking for a job. It's important that those in charge of making decisions, should do so based on logic and not emotion. That means family squabbles and arguments have to be placed on hold until the end of the workday. Always remember that we are family. Family members typically have more invested into the business financially and emotionally; therefore, passion, loyalty and commitment are huge drivers toward their success. In addition, working with people you care about goes a terribly long way! PM

**References: The Costco Connection Magazine "The Family Business" by Janna Hoiberg


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Paula Maddox

Coach | Author | Speaker | Minister | Doctoral Student

Tel: 404.939.7432   

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