Going into business with family is something that lots of people try to avoid. Others might wonder what the big deal is – surely going into business with family makes things easier and more pleasurable in the long run? Well, not necessarily. Here’s what you should know before you make the decision to go into business with family:

Feelings And Emotions Will Get In The Way Sometimes

Whether you’re making a difficult decision or an emergency has arisen, feelings and emotions are more likely to get in the way when it comes to working with family members. They can cloud judgement, or make decisions harder to make even if the solution to a problem is glaringly obvious.

You need to be able to detach from your emotions and feelings sometimes if you’re going to go into business with family members. Make sure you trust yourself to still be able to look at situations objectively.

Other Members of The Team May Feel You Have Favourites

If you have non family members on board, there’s a chance they may feel like you have favourites if you also have family members on board. You’ll need to be mindful of how you’re treating people within your business and ensure you’re not treating them too differently from one another. This can really lower team morale and you may find a drop in productivity.

Things May Get A Little Too Comfortable

Going into business with family can mean getting a little too comfortable. Of course you should be comfortable in your business to a certain extent, but you shouldn’t get complacent. If you know that you’re going to let things slip because you haven’t got time for them, you can look for things like Family office services designed to take care of accounts and make your lives easier.

Your Business May Be Less Innovative

Your business may be less innovative than competitive businesses. Why? Because too much family tradition may promote closed mindedness within your company. This can mean the resistance to change is strong, and it can negatively affect creativity and outside the box thinking. Family owned businesses are less likely to innovate unless outside help is used to help bring the environment back to life.

Going into business with family isn’t all bad. Providing you’re aware of the risks and you get some outside help to draw up agreements, you might have a better time than you imagined. The points below will help you to ensure you’re on the same page as family members:

  • Talk about it – discuss what you’ll expect being in business together and the pros and cons. Talk about what would happen if anything happened to one of you.
  • Decide who owns what – come to agreement on who owns what.
  • Put together an agreement that everybody is happy with – write it down.
  • Determine your business form – what will your business form be?
  • Get outside advisors involved – they can look at the situation objectively and help you with agreements.


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