Monday, April 15, 2013

Three Important Things For Family Business Owners to Remember

Running a family business isn't for the faint of heart.  Some people think that working with family members will be much easier than working with strangers, but in reality the opposite is true.  Business managers like Charlie Bouri could talk endlessly about the ins and outs of working with your family.  If you're at the end of your rope with your family business and family members, try to keep these management tips in mind.

Don't View Your Family Members as Clones

This tip is extremely important for family business founders to remember.  Your management style is unique to you, and if you hand over control of the company to somebody else they're going to start doing things their way.  Some family business owners expect the newest generation of family members/workers to never change a thing about their business, and many balk at the idea of seeing their family members deviate from their original business plan. The family member that takes over the business is most likely full of ideas on how to keep it running and successful. Keep in mind that you stepped down so somebody else can run your company, and now it's time to step aside and let it happen. 

Let Your Family Know They Have a Choice

It can be easy to feel like you have your professional life mapped out when your family owns a business.  Some people feel like they're forced to work "in the family" and see no other alternatives.  You wouldn't want any of your loved ones to feel trapped in a career they aren't happy with, so you should make a point to let your family members know that they don't have to work for you.  Let them know that you're happy to have the onboard, but that they shouldn't feel pressured to work in the family's business.

Speak Up

We just talked about how some family members can feel pressured to work in the family business, but the family business owners have their own unique pressure problems.  Some business owners feel like they have to avoid actively critiquing their family member's work because they don't want to hurt anybody's feelings.  If you choose to not tell them when they're doing something wrong they won't know that they're anything wrong.  You need to remember that when you're at work you're their boss and that they need direction from you. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Management 101: Running Your Business During a Personal Crisis

Many people choose to start their own companies because they like being their own boss, but this major advantage can also work against you.  When you're the one who's calling the shots at your company your business can significantly suffer if something happens to you.  A death in the family or a medical problem can cause a lot of trouble for your business, and you have to deal with your personal problems on top of keeping your company running.  Big business owners like Maurice Bouri have several people who could run the company in the event of an emergency, but business owners with a small staff won't be so lucky.   Don't let your business suffer because of personal problems; follow the tips in this post so your company can stay afloat during the hard times.

Have Important Information Easily Accessible for Employees

When you're in charge of running your own business it can be easy to forget to let employees know about important things.  If you have an emergency that pops up overnight that prevents you from working the next day, do your employees have access to important information they'll need to keep your business running?  Do they know the security code they need to unlock the building? Do they have your business' bank account number so they can make deposits?  Make a sheet for your employees that contains important information (bank account numbers, security access codes, payroll schedules, billing schedules, etc.) and leave it in an easy to find place.  Your employees will have all of the information they need to keep things running, and you won't be spending valuable time giving them instructions for tasks over the phone.

Keep the Big Picture in Mind

When you're dealing with personal problems and managing your business from afar, there's no time for micromanaging your employees.  It may seem important to you to call at the end of each day to ensure that everybody punched in and out for the day correctly, but there are other matters that are far more important.  Rely on your employees to keep the important day-to-day activities going and just focus on the most important problems.

Work On Yourself

It's very easy for business owners to overlook their own problems and only focus on business matters, but if you're going through a difficult time you need to take time to focus on your needs.  You won't be able to give your business the time and attention it needs if you're stressed out or fixated on other problems.  Take time to relax and talk to some trusted friends about your troubles. When you're ready to come back to work you'll be refreshed and ready to take on any new challenges.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Two Essential Rules for Owning a Family Business

Managing a family business isn't like anything you see on sitcoms.  In between the wacky shenanigans and life lessons you and your family members will be working hard to make your business succeed, and unfortunately it isn't uncommon for some family business owners and works to feel stressed out and overwhelmed.  Every family business manager from Rupert Murdoch to Alexander F Bouri has had to deal with the unique problems that come along with owning a family business, and there are ways you can have a successful business and have a happy family.  You'll find a lot of information online about how to run the perfect family business, but when it comes down to it there are only a few essential rules that you need to remember.

Never force a family member to work

When you envision your family business you probably saw each of your family members happily and eagerly working together, but in reality there may be some family members who aren't thrilled to be a part of the business.  You'd like to have as many of your kids, cousins, and extended family members work with you as possible, but it's very possible that some family members don't share your business vision.  You should offer all of your family members a job, but you shouldn't force them to work with you.

Don't feel pressured to hire family members

Your uncle Lance is always great at family get-togethers and never forgets your birthday, but when it comes to holding down jobs your beloved uncle still has a long way to go.  When he hears about your newest family business venture he may insist on being a part of it, but you shouldn't feel pressured to hire him.  Sometimes every family member won't be