Top 10 tips for family business

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015

Starting your own business can be a tricky and long-winded endeavour. It takes a 24/7 kind of commitment to realise dreams and visions, and any budding entrepreneur will tell you the work is never truly done.

What about family businesses? Getting the clan around a new startup is sure to be extra trying, and while the benefits of success can bring a family together, there are cautions to heed.

Here are the top 10 tips for family businesses (via Australian Small Business Commissioner):

  • Leave work at work and home at home.


  • Have clearly assigned roles for each family member to avoid feelings of being taken for granted, over-worked or under-utilised.


  • Pay the market rate — remunerate the job and not the person.


  • Develop a strong, capable management structure — don’t confuse ownership or inheritance with management.


  • Have clear, consistent communication — both good and bad news must be shared.


  • Clearly define entry and exit criteria for family members before an event occurs.


  • Develop a succession plan and ensure it is endorsed by interested parties — a communicated process rather than sudden event.


  • Use outside advisers who can provide unbiased, objective advice — preferably accredited, family business advisers.


  • Hold regular communication sessions and family ”retreats” — the best results are those facilitated by a third party.


  • Use external advisers, sounding board, mentors and family business forum groups.