Family businesses can be a blessing and a curse, sometimes both at the same time. We’ve all heard the horror stories of family businesses gone bad, and maybe you are in the midst of one of those horror stories. However, a family cleaning business can also be a source of tremendous blessing. So what can you do to make your family business thrive? Let me offer 4 principles to keep your business free of strife, ill-will, and bad blood.
Keep work at work and home at home
Good family businesses know how to keep a good work-home balance. Parents and children who work together need to know how to operate as co-workers as well as in their familial relationships. Confusing the two will create unrest. When it’s family time, then just be family. You don’t need to be “the boss” at Thanksgiving dinner. Learn the boundaries, then stick to them.
Have clearly defined roles
Having clearly defined roles in your company is critical, especially for family members working in the company. Each family member needs to know their role and operate respectfully within that role. When expectations are not clearly defined, apathy can seep in. When worker apathy starts, bitterness and ill-will are soon to follow. The antidote to this is crystal clear roles and accountability.
Hiring family members can be a wonderful thing when everyone is performing well. However, when a family member is underperforming, other family members and outsider employees can become resentful. Therefore, family members MUST be held to the same performance standards as other employees. Favoritism not only hurts other employees, but the lagging family member as well. Not expecting the best out of a person is to condone sub-par work. This sets a person up for long-term failure.
Don’t let money divide
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t let greed ruin family/work relationships. Your family is WAY MORE important than the extra $10,000 you could have made last year. If the first three rules are operating as they should, then generosity will only enhance the work-family relationship. But when the person in control is greedy or stingy, bitterness will almost always result. We’ve all heard the Bible verse that says, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” A more true statement has never been uttered, especially when it comes to family business.
Practice these four principles and you will be on your way to cultivating a thriving family business.