Although 80 percent of the world's businesses are family owned, according to research from Kennesaw State University Coles College of Business, these businesses are not necessarily hiring their own family members. We took a look at the dynamics, benefits and pitfalls of family businesses earlier this year, click here to read more about it. Today, we are going to offer some advice on hiring family members, whether it’s your child, your parents or your spouse.
Many entrepreneurs dream of passing on their business to their children, or just spending extra time with them. In some cases, they start grooming their sons and daughters from a very early age – involving them in product design around the kitchen table; introducing them to clients and staff and even analyzing their playtime behavior for signs of business potential.
If you decide to bring a family member into the business fold, you might want to consider these basic guidelines:
- Have him/her work somewhere else
- Try to instill a sense of cooperation and teamwork
- Recognize that they will need mentors, and that the best person for that job might not be you.
- Let your children know that, if they see a future for themselves
- If several of your offspring are vying for the same position, make sure you have the fortitude to make the best decision for the company. This might not be your oldest child.
As the vibrant baby boom generation is reaching retirement age, many find they want to continue working. A good number of them are going to work for their children who are small business owners.
If you decide to hire your mom or dad, consider the following before bringing them on board:
- Decide if your parent has a skill or set of contacts
- Be sure to pay your parent the same amount that you’d pay anyone else in the same position – don’t be tempted to hire them for less than the going rate
- Assess your relationship with your mother or father and make sure you’re not in danger of playing out a family drama
- If your parent is somebody who has typically overstepped personal boundaries, i.e. giving you unwanted parenting advice, you might want to think twice
It might sound pessimistic: However, the first thing you should do before bringing a spouse into your business is to anticipate the worst.
- Consider drafting a prenuptial-type agreement for the business
- Recognize that it can be risky
- Decide early on how to handle vacation or holiday time
- Protect your “me time” by ensuring you keep up with individual hobbies, memberships and friends.
Hiring a family member can be tricky. Keep in mind that for every benefit, there is also a potential downside. Once you have committed to the decision however, sit back for a minute and realize how lucky you are to share something this important with family.
155px Mirror Handshake.png 34.4 K