Are your family right for your family business?

The family firm has a dimension which other companies never have to tackle: the family itself.

The assumption that sons, daughters or in-laws will want to take over the family firm can be a dangerous one to make.  What’s even more risky is to assume that your children or other family members have the skills and attributes required to lead your business..

58% of family businesses surveyed in 2016 suggested that their biggest challenge was to attract and retain the right talent.  Family members need to be part of this drive towards acquiring and retaining talent as often they hold senior roles that they simply aren’t qualified to fulfill.  This stifles opportunity for non-family members and can deal a devastating blow to the sustainability of the business.

Family members need to be subject to the same scrutiny as those from outside the business and this must begin at the recruitment stage:-.

  • What are the job description and person specification for the senior roles?
  • How do family members stack up against these important documents?
  • Would your business be better served by recruiting someone from outside your business?

The answers may be unpopular but to bury your head in the sand and assume your family are right for your business could be the very decision that condemns them to a struggling business.

So maybe it’s time to think long and hard as to whether your family are right for your family business…

Paul Harris of Real Success Ltd, is the host of Solihull branch of The Family Business Practice which is a unique Midlands-based business development and networking organisation for owner-managed and family businesses and businesses that supply owner-managed and family businesses.

Today, the Practice has over 80 members ranging from husband-and-wife consultancies to businesses employing over 200 people. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all family businesses and they think, act and do differently to their corporate equivalents. You can find out more about the Family Business Practice here.