The keys to a successful family business are trust, openness and involvement of younger generations, says BDC’s Bettie Johnston. Here are some of her tips to making it work.
1) Involve the entire family in strategic planning. This builds consensus for the company’s vision and a road-map to the future.
2) Define clear roles for each family member. This gives everyone their own space – especially important for a couple working together – and lets them work in the area of the business best suited to their talents and interests. It also lets family members avoid stepping on each other’s toes, which can help keep any internal rivalries in check.
3) Give younger generations a revenue to share their ideas and a role in decisions.
4) Encourage children to work elsewhere for a few years before hey join the family firm. The experience will teach them skills, give them a new perspective and earn them respect from employees.