Managing and growing a family business is extremely satisfying and fulfilling. The responsibility of carrying forward the family legacy presents several opportunities.
Here are 4 ways to help you manage the challenges of a family business.
- Give priority to business success
In a family business, it’s imperative that each person places paramount importance on business success. Attitude to work must be objective and family members must appreciate the business structure. Anyfamily problems should be relegated to the house once the work day commences. As consummate professionals business should be given primary importance and there must be a clear distinction between home and work
- Prevent clash of personalities
It is important to keep in mind that each person in the family business is different. Business & financial clashes can completely wreck family ties, so it is wise that all issues are addressed and resolved without delay. It is prudent to work to everybody’s strengths, and avoid clashes.
Manav Bharagava runs a garment manufacturing & export unit, Expo Center, in partnership with his parents. He shares, “A family run enterprise has its pros & cons. The biggest advantage is the shared responsibility and the flexibility that brings. For instance, when I go on a vacation, my parents chip in and vice versa. The major drawback is that tensions at work sometimes get carried back home.”
- Hire a non-family person to manage day-to-day running of the business
Family members may be reluctant to take orders from someone of the same age group or generation. In such a scenario, it may be fruitful to hire an effective manager who is not a family member to run the daily operations of the enterprise. Meanwhile, the other members of the family can work together on growth and business strategy.
- Be cognisant of the generational gap
Generation gap can often cause a strain on business relationships amongst family members. Young people may have radical ideas for growth and expansion which may not go down well with the elders. Mutual respect is the key to surmounting the generation divide. Appreciating the wisdom and experience of the elders and the ideas and enthusiasm of the new generation is vital.
- Ensure that the business thrives down the generations
There are many examples of family businesses that have flourished for many generations. In order, to ensure the longevity of a business, it is important to train & groom the next generation. Also to avoid legal disputes, the succession plan should be clearly articulated. It is the responsibility of the current business heads to plan to mentor the future leaders of the enterprise.
Manav Rastogi, a fourth generation scion of Roop Sarees shares a simple philosophy. “In business there are bound to be difference of opinions. The key is to draw the line between personal and professional.” He adds, “I have inherited a strong sense of colour and design from working closely in the family business. I have further studied graphic design and am working as a Creative Director at a digital solutions firm. I feel it’s essential for each generation to discover their own calling while taking pride in one’s family traditions.”
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