Having others on board with a new business venture can have many benefits, as well as challenges. Both the pros and cons can vary greatly, depending on whom you partner with. Many entrepreneurs enter the business world with friends, family, and even complete strangers. No matter which category a partner comes from, it’s important to know if he/she/they share similar dreams, goals, and values.
If you decide to start a business with a family member, such as a parent, sibling, or cousin, there are special considerations. First, it’s crucial to have the ability to separate personal feelings from business decisions when dealing with family. After all, they will always be your family but may not always be a business partner. Let’s looks at some important steps to starting a business with a family member.
Have a Plan and Boundaries
As you can imagine, setting up a new business with someone in your family might be rewarding and joyful but could also be a bonified disaster. For instance, if there’s ever a major disagreement, one or both of you could feel resentment toward the other. This could lead to extended family rifts and even separation should the business fail.
Of course, that doesn’t mean a business partnership with a close family member won’t work. There are many successful family businesses set up each year. I recommend writing a solid business plan that all parties agree on before anything is set in stone. Additionally, set some boundaries for communication, decision-making, and finances. If you both know what to expect, you can work more effectively together and build the business as a team.
Define Roles Clearly
Before starting a new business with a family member, make sure that each role is clearly defined. For example, you could be in charge of sales and marketing, while your business partner could handle manufacturing and logistics. Make sure everyone agrees with the plan and can execute the details effectively. If the initial plan doesn’t work out, be flexible and make the appropriate changes. This will help to keep things moving forward without conflict.
Communicate Honestly with Professionalism
Keep in mind that just because someone is family doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t deserve the truth, even if it hurts. Speak honestly (but professionally) about your feelings, ideas, and concerns. It’s important to share these things regularly so frustration, anger, and doubt don’t build up. Pay equal attention to listening to the other party, as well.
Of course, negative emotions can flare up whether you’re in business with family or not. However, because of the emotional family ties, you may have with a loved one, tension and heightened emotions can flare even faster. It may help to have an outside mediator involved with important meetings and/or conflict.
Delegate Some Tasks Outside
It can be tough starting any new business when you’re trying to save money. You may end up doing too much and getting overworked. However, there are some things that could be delegated to outside parties to lower stress and free up some time. For example, if you and your partner are contractors, you could use an outside accountant to take care of finances and record-keeping. Again, make sure you and your partner agree on this decision and do research at sites like https://www.qaccounting.com/ for further information.
You can also consider outsourcing other tasks and jobs, as well. If you and your business partners spend a lot of time on the road or out of the office, it makes sense to hire a virtual assistant to handle incoming calls and questions. Check out https://avirtual.co.uk/ to see what virtual assistant services can offer your business.