If I’m writing an entire post about the right approach to getting into business with family then it should be clear that I am definitely of the belief that it’s absolutely fine to do business with family, this of course going against the popularly touted belief that one simply shouldn’t do so. In fact it goes beyond just family, with suggestions that one shouldn’t go into business with anyone they’re close with, including friends.
Why you SHOULD go into business with family
Apart from the fact that the establishment pretty much always does the exact opposite of what they advise the rest of us to do, getting into business with friends and family is perhaps the best way to approach your income-generation terrace because it represents exactly what the establishment doesn’t want – people getting together outside of their established institutions to do things for themselves.
Start with your friends and family because that way you’ll be driven by the collective desire to realise common financial goals.
The right approach
As far as it goes with the right approach to getting into business with friends and family, it really just comes down to three cardinal rules.
Explicit role definition
One of the reasons that are cited as to why friends and family shouldn’t do business together is that conflict often arises in either one or both of the capacities in which the relationships play out, with personal issues permeating professional ones and vice versa. While this can indeed happen and while there is a high propensity for this to happen, it doesn’t have to if you establish clear role definitions. Leave the personal stuff out of it and make everybody understand the need for a separation between the personal and professional stuff.
Leave domestic issues at home and leave professional issues at the “office” or whatever kind of workplace the business environment will exist as and this is achieved through explicit role definitions. Everybody must know exactly what is required and expected of them and there should be measures in place to deal with situations in which someone may not be pulling their weight.
Establishing regular, formalised communication channels
It’s easy to sit here and point to regular communication as another important rule to follow if you’re to make a success out of getting into business with friends and family, but it goes a little further than that. The communication needs to be formalised so that the dynamic nature of how business typically operates can be addressed accordingly. Hold a weekly meeting or something along those lines, which everybody will be obliged to attend.
Keeping things professional
From generating and distributing official documents such as pay stubs created using a check stub maker to making sure you keep proper financial records and those of other business operations, running the business professionally is also a very important requirement if your desire is to make a success out of doing business with friends and family.
You don’t want to have situations where anybody can willingly dip into the business’s petty cash tin for example.