They say you shouldn’t work with children or animals. But for some, working with family can be even harder. Though a family business can bring huge rewards, there are a number of unique challenges which do need addressing.

Should I give the children more responsibility?

Knowing how much authority to delegate to your children is a major issue in a family business. Do they want more responsibility than you think they can cope with? Do they have the skills to drive your SME to success?

The key question to ask yourself is, if this was an individual you weren’t related to, would you give them the job?

If the answer is no, then you need to clearly identify the skills that are missing and see what can be done to address them. If the answer is yes, it may be your own ability to delegate that needs review.

The opportunity for development must be clear, otherwise you risk losing your staff – whether they are related to you or not.

How can I work more effectively with my siblings?

While it can be a lot of fun working with siblings, and can even increase feelings of loyalty towards a joint endeavour, natural rivalries that built up over childhood should not simply be ignored, as they can affect the success of a business if not addressed properly. One way to do so is to set out business goals, and the way you want to achieve them, early on. When policies and processes are less formally articulated, it can create confusion leading to significant internal issues. Formalising organisational policies is a subject our seminars address over and over again. By creating a more structured business framework, boundaries become more clearly defined, and siblings can work together as effectively as any other business alliance.

Our staff are very loyal and committed, but how can I get more out of them?

A loyal employee is the core of your Human Capital. However, those that have been with the company the longest are usually the ones that are most resistant to change.

When you want to get more out of your employees, the first step is to ask for it. If your demands are realistic and effectively communicated, your loyal employees should be the first ones on board.

You would be surprised how many SMEs procrastinate over business change, just because they don’t want to upset their employees – yet all their staff really want is a new challenge.

How can I take more time out of my business?

Creating an effective exit strategy is an important role for any business manager, but it’s even more vital in a family led organisation.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to take a few hours off, or leave forever. By implementing the correct exit strategy, you can ensure the smooth running of your business over the long term.

The best corporate advisor will help you develop the exit strategy that is most effective for your business, and identify the resources that will support it. Even if you are not planning to leave soon, it is wise to have a plan in place. You never know what’s around the corner.

How can I take more money out of my business?

The entire purpose of any family business is to ensure an effective income for your family and future generations, and balancing your immediate needs with those of the future is a place where we can definitely help.

Our corporate finance expertise will ensure you gain maximum benefit from your business, whilst still ensuring strong and effective growth for the future. Book an appointment and see how your efforts could be far more richly rewarded.

What do I need to do to improve the performance of the business?

The SME of today has to grow to stay alive, and finding ways to improve your business performance is key to long term success.

For growth of any kind, you need to increase the number of sales in your existing market, penetrate new markets, or increase the margins on the products you already sell. For family businesses this means greater levels of efficiency, a new marketing strategy, or developing new products. For others, it means implementing an effective pricing strategy, restructuring finance or investing in new technology.

With a clear and unfettered view of your business, we can ensure the challenges you face today will pave the way to some exciting opportunities in the future.