Level Up Your Family Business: Insights from a Business Coach

Last Updated: 

February 9, 2024

Have you ever wondered if you're doing enough in your family business? Do you want to level up so that you can grow and expand the company? If so, then this article is for you. Here are some ways that you can level up your family business:

Key Takeaways on Growing a Family Business:

  1. Define roles and responsibilities: Clearly establish roles and responsibilities for family members involved in the business to ensure clarity and accountability.
  2. Professionalise operations: Implement professional management practices, systems, and processes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness within the family business.
  3. Foster open communication: Encourage open and transparent communication among family members to minimise conflicts and promote collaboration.
  4. Develop a succession plan: Plan for the future by creating a succession plan that outlines the transition of leadership and ownership within the family business.
  5. Embrace innovation and adaptability: Stay ahead of the curve by embracing innovation, exploring new opportunities, and adapting to changing market dynamics.
  6. Invest in talent development: Invest in the development of family members and other employees through training, mentorship, and continuous learning.
  7. Seek external expertise: Consider bringing in external advisors, consultants, or coaches to provide objective insights and guidance for the growth and development of the family business.
Want to Close Bigger Deals?

Start with a vision

When you're starting a company, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and lose sight of your goals. You need to stay focused on what you want for yourself and your family business, and not just assume that everyone else is on the same page as you.

To do this:

  • Start with defining the problem before starting on a solution. This will help ensure that all stakeholders are aligned around the same objectives before investing time or money into any one project or initiative.
  • Set ambitious but realistic goals that can be achieved within 3-6 months (or less). If they're too far off in terms of time frame, people won't believe they can achieve them right away; if they're too short term, there may not be enough time for people involved in those projects/initiatives to have any impact on their organisation as whole!

Work together to make decisions

  • Make sure everyone is heard. In a family business, it's easy for one person's opinion to dominate over others' opinions. You may want to use a voting system or consensus building approach so that everyone has an equal say in the decision-making process.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you're unsure about something and aren't getting anywhere with your family members, consider hiring an outsider who can offer insight into what decisions should be made next, whether that means hiring someone full time or consulting with them on occasion as needed (for example: once every week).
  • If you can't agree on a decision, take a break and come back later - maybe even after 24 hours! Sometimes getting away from something allows us all enough distance from our emotions so that we can see things more clearly when we return with fresh eyes; other times it just gives us time away from conflict so we don't feel pressured into making rash decisions out of anger or frustration toward each other.

Make time for each other

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you want your family business to last. And if it's going to last, then it's important that everyone in your family is on board with what they're doing and understands its importance. 

This means making time for each other, whether that means sitting down as a group or having individual conversations about what matters most.

You might have heard this before: don't work too much! But seriously, make sure you're taking some time off so that everyone can recharge their batteries (and maybe even have some fun). It's also crucial not only for the health of your business but also its longevity that everyone gets along well with each other; this will help ensure smooth sailing when difficult decisions need making later on down the line.

Don't be afraid of failure

Failure is a part of the learning process. It's not a bad thing, it's just part of being human and trying new things. If you don't take risks, you won't have any successes!

If your business fails, don't get too down on yourself; instead learn from what happened and use that knowledge to make sure it doesn't happen again in future projects.

Talk about your past successes and failures

You should also be honest about your past successes and failures. It's important to learn from mistakes, but if you don't take the time to understand where you've been, it will be difficult for your business to move forward in a positive way.

It's also important not to fear failure, otherwise, how will you ever know if something is worth pursuing? If at first something doesn't work out as planned, try again! And again...and again...until something sticks!

Have a plan B in place

Plan B is a backup plan that you have in place just in case things don't go according to plan. It's important to have a plan B because it helps you avoid being stuck with no options, which can be incredibly stressful and frustrating.

The first step to implementing your own personal Plan B is identifying the alternatives that are available if something goes wrong with your current plan A (the one you're currently using). 

You'll want to think about all of the possible scenarios that could happen, both good and bad ones! The more prepared you are for these unexpected events, and the more prepared others around you are, the better off everyone will be when they occur.

Once everyone knows what their role is during an emergency situation, it's time for them all to work together as seamlessly as possible so everything goes smoothly despite any obstacles thrown at them during this difficult time period; otherwise known as crisis management 101!

The more you talk about your business, the more you'll understand it and make decisions together

The more you talk about your business, the more you'll understand it and make decisions together.

Talk to your family about your business. Talk to friends and colleagues about your business. Talk to mentors or coaches about your business. 

Talk with a professional advisor (accountant, lawyer, etc) about your business - especially if they don't know anyone else in the industry that they can ask questions of themselves!

And most importantly: talk with customers and suppliers - but only after they've given permission for this kind of communication!

FAQs on growing your family business

Family businesses have their unique dynamics and challenges. To level up and take your family business to new heights of success, it requires intentional strategies and practices. In this article, we will explore key strategies to level up your family business, including defining roles, fostering communication, professionalising operations, succession planning, embracing innovation, investing in talent development, and seeking external expertise.

How can I effectively define roles and responsibilities for family members in the business?

You can set clear expectations and make sure everyone understands their role in the business by having a family meeting. Ask each person to come prepared with their goals, what they hope to accomplish during the year, and any ideas that they have for improving or growing the company. 

Once you've heard from everyone, discuss how each person might contribute to those goals, and what kind of support you need from them. Finally, decide on an annual review process so that you can always be on top of what needs doing at any given time (e.g., quarterly reviews).

What are some common communication challenges in family businesses, and how can they be addressed?

A family business is a unique entity. It's made up of people, and people have different communication styles. It can be difficult to keep everyone on the same page in terms of expectations, goals and priorities.

A good place to start when it comes to improving your communication skills as a family business leader is by making sure that everyone knows what's going on in the company at all times. This means using tools like email alerts, text messages and employee apps so that everyone has access to the same information at once, no matter where they are or what time zone they're in!

What steps can I take to professionalise the operations of our family business?

The first step to professionalising the operations of your family business is to define roles and responsibilities. This will help you decide who should be doing what, and it will also make it easier for other people in the company to know when they can help out without stepping on someone else's toes.

Next, create a formal business plan that includes goals for growth over time as well as plans for reaching those goals (if applicable). You should also include information about what products or services you offer, how much they cost, who buys them, and why? 

This will help you stay focused on what really matters: making money by providing value through good products/services at affordable prices while maintaining an ethical culture where everyone feels valued regardless of their contributions within the company itself!

How do I create a succession plan for a smooth transition of leadership and ownership within the family business?

The first step in creating a succession plan is making sure everyone is on board with the plan. This can be difficult, especially if there are multiple siblings in your business. If you have one sibling who wants to take over and another who doesn't, it's important that you find ways for them both to feel like they have an equal say in how things are run.

Make sure that the plan is realistic; if not, then it will likely fail when put into action. For example: if you want your son or daughter (who has never been involved in the company) to suddenly become CEO within five years' time without any prior experience or knowledge of how things work at this level, this may not end well! It may seem like an easy solution now but trust me when I say that nothing good comes out of unrealistic expectations like these!

Make sure that whatever steps you take today will lead towards long-term success rather than short-term gains such as increased profits or higher sales numbers alone."

What are some ways to encourage innovation and adaptability in a family business?

Encouraging innovation and adaptability in a family business is vital for its success. As the company evolves and faces new challenges, it must be able to adapt to its changing environment. Family members can play a significant role in fostering innovation. 

When they feel a sense of ownership in the business's success and are given opportunities to contribute their ideas, they can become a valuable source of innovative thinking. This is especially true in multi-generational family businesses, where creating a culture of open-mindedness and encouraging the challenging of ideas allows younger family members, despite limited external work experience, to share their fresh perspectives and contribute within the company's structure.

In addition, seeking external perspectives is another way to promote innovation. Actively listening to feedback from customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders can offer valuable insights for improving various aspects of the business. By being receptive to suggestions and ideas from individuals outside the family, the business can gain different perspectives and identify areas for growth and enhancement.

To foster a dynamic and forward-thinking environment, it is crucial to cultivate an atmosphere of openness, inclusivity, and adaptability within the family business. This empowers family members to contribute their innovative ideas and ensures that the business remains responsive to external feedback. By embracing these principles, a family business can create an environment conducive to sustained growth and success.

Conclusion

It's important to remember that family businesses are dynamic and ever-changing. They're not just about making money; they're about building relationships with other people who share common interests and values. You should feel free to experiment with new ideas, even if some of them don't work out as planned, as long as everyone involved understands why those decisions were made in the first place!

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