Is it a good idea to have family work in your business? Should you?

This episode explores 4 different approaches for business owners to handle business and family and still have harmony…mostly.

Show Notes

As we explore 4 different approaches for the business owners on mixing business and family, an important point is to be intentional about your relationship between business and family. There is no right or wrong approach, but please don’t leave your approach to chance.

In a single podcast there is no way to cover every possible options and configurations about having family help out in your business. There’s just too many of them. Instead, maybe think of these 4 approaches as colors in the rainbow. Let’s say we pick red. You can have rose color, light red, plain red, fire engine red, maroon, etc. Similarly, in each of these 4 approaches there are shades and variances to fit your personality and situation.

So I ask you to think about your situation and how these ideas can help you or perhaps a spouse or friend keep harmony between business and family.

Full Family business

Often you can see this approach in farming, construction, real estate, and more areas. They are usually formed as an S-Corps, and spouse, the kids, brothers & sisters, third cousins all working in the business. The attitude seems to be: “we’ll always find a place for family.”

The danger for a full family business is keeping the family drama under control.

 Spouses are Partners

Often each partner has a unique role, but they have equal say. It’s a lifestyle for them with little or no boundaries between business and life, or maybe I should say their business is their life.
Danger for the ‘Spouse are partners’ is if they don’t agree on something important, how are ties settled peacefully and without resentment? Maybe flip a coin, have a mentor, whatever. However, this tie-breaker method should be agreed upon early.

A Spouse Takes on a Task

For example, the plumber is out fixing pipes and spouse is taking calls and doing the books on a part time basis. Or one spouse works outside to bring in income while the other spouse is building the business. There’s quite a few combinations like this.

Danger is when one spouse takes on a task that the business spouse can become a taskmaster and the other feels like a hired hand not getting paid. Not a good thing. Good communication and an abundance of gratitude goes a long way.

Two Separate Places

One spouse does the business, and the other somewhere else. And never the twain shall meet.

These are the people who never let family and business mix. However, it doesn’t mean family is not important. In fact, may be a good model for so-called power-couples.

The extreme example of a power-couple is former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. Obviously this couple couldn’t partner together to run the U.S. Government or Eleanor assigned a task, say Sec. of State. No, the circumstances dictated them to work in two separate places. However, each did some amazing things on their own. They sort-of fed off each other. They accomplished more than they could do alone. And as a trivia note, both have their own, individual postage stamps. Not too many couples can say that.

The danger of ‘Two Separate Place’ is that the spouses end up living two separate lives. Resentment can build between them: ‘he’s never home’ and ‘my lazy family living off my hard work’. Setting time together, taking long vacations, and sharing burdens of the stress and worry is important. If you choose this approach, be a power couple, not strangers.

Resource Links

Link to SBA PPP program

 #businessowner #entrepreneur #family


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