This is a sponsored guest post.
Is there any better dream than working in a small business with family members? Maybe you don’t get along with every member of your family, but spending time with your loved ones in the hopes of handing down your hard work to the next generation is a dream job to many. Yet like any other business there are decisions that must be made that shouldn’t be overlooked just because your fellow workers are related to you.
Family is the best part, but give them space
Bringing loved ones in to an established business or starting up a fun summer job to teach your kids about the adult world both require knowing what your family members do best. If they aren’t invested in the role they take on when they jump in, the friction caused by their placement could grind things to a halt. Don’t be surprised if you have to move people around or let children go their own way to find their own strengths and interests before welcoming them back into the fold.
Don’t rely on handshakes
Most aspects of dealing with your family can be handled with a kind word and a handshake. In a business sense that simply won’t do. Whether it’s a buy-sell agreement or the details of an employment agreement, always handle things in writing. It may feel like showing a lack of faith in your loved ones, but contracts exist to protect all involved parties from wrongdoing and clearly define the expectations and responsibilities of those involved. It’s not a family tradition, but it’s important nonetheless.
Insurance isn’t fun, but it’s vital
While no family likes to think about worst-case scenarios there is always good reason to prepare for them regardless of how pleasant they are. Accidents, health problems and even the passing on of family members are all very real scenarios that can take a business off at the knees if you haven’t prepared properly. More importantly, insurance programs that allow you to option out of a life insurance agreement for funds offers an emergency backup plan should your livelihood be at risk.
Prepare for the next generation early on
Like all plans, preparing for the future is best done well before the future arrives. Handing a business to your siblings, children or anyone else is the kind of gift that can sustain a family for generations to come and planning accordingly means starting early. Begin good business longevity habits early to ensure your investment of time and hard work pays off long enough for others to enjoy if that is your long-term plan.
Don’t forget to talk to your children early about the importance of managing various aspects of a business, even if you have to break it down to simple terms. Going as far as instilling good work ethic and an eye for detail can have a lifelong impact on a child’s future business sense.
As with all family engagements, a family business should bring you closer together and provide a steady future for those you hold dear. It may take time to find where everyone fits and preparing for the future along the way might be difficult, but the payoff of seeing your children step into the world ready to make a name for themselves without worrying about where their paycheck will be coming from is a beautiful sight and always worth pursuing.