Whilst there are plenty of benefits to working with your relatives, it also brings a unique set of challenges. RfM Partner Peter Armer offers some key advice to overcoming common problems when running a family business.
Almost 90% of businesses in Cumbria are family-run. RfM Accountants, with offices across Windermere, Ulverston, Barrow and Morecambe counts many family businesses among its clients and is an official partner of The Family Business Network – Cumbria.
When you have more than work in common, it’s easy to focus on personal matters and avoid important business discussions. Set a regular time and place to meet to discuss your business’ aims, strategy, financial position and other matters relevant to your success. Set boundaries for when and where you talk business; in the workplace and within working hours is always best.
Keep a record of what is discussed and agreed to avoid future disagreements over what was said.
Develop your team
As well as passing on the know-how you’ve gained over the years, invest in training and professional development for your staff. You will have a more effective team and they will feel more loyalty to an employer who has invested in their future.
Listen to the younger generation
Does your family business cross more than one generation? Chances are the older, more experienced family members have more of a say in how the business is run. Give younger family members a say and you will be rewarded with fresh ideas and insights. For example, they know first-hand the value of embracing digital channels for marketing, having a website and connecting to new audiences with social media.
Think about the future, now
If you want to see your business survive after you are no longer involved, make sure you have a succession plan in place.
Supporting Cumbria’s family business network
Running a family business can feel very isolating. There are always decisions to be made which will impact both the success of the business and the lives of family members. The team at RfM understand the need to be available to answer questions and give expert advice as and when issues arise.
Our commitment to going the extra mile led us to develop a suite of additional services, including legal services and strategic business consulting. We are delighted to further support the thriving business sector through our partnership with the Family Business Network – Cumbria.