These are demanding times for working parents. They’re struggling to make ends meet while trying to stay present in their kids’ lives as while as possible.
With the ongoing changes in work organization on a global scale – pandemic, remote work, tech innovations – in theory, families could spend more time together. This especially refers to family-run businesses. Such ventures open numerous opportunities for people to effectively combine their family and business life.
In this article, we’ll share some practical hacks that will help parents dealing with family-run SMBs to stay productive and committed.
Separate business and private accounts
Small businesses in general need to keep their expenditure under control. If you start splurging your income without any plan or limit, you might soon go bankrupt.
When it comes to family-run businesses, things can get even more complicated. The backbone of every such venture is usually two partners. More often than not, these partners are parents, as well.
The combination of emotional and business relationships is the greatest challenge for these people. It’s not always easy to keep their emotions and business decisions apart.
So, separating business and private bank accounts is a good start.
Once you’ve started your business, launch a bank account that will be used strictly for business matters. In addition to that one, you can open a savings account, as well. These two accounts are a must for every new business, including family-run ones.
As opposed to them, each adult family member should have their own personal bank account, as well. If they get salaries directly from the business, it should be paid to those private accounts.
Set the business rules in advance
Every business needs clear rules to become a productive and growing venture.
Such rules are even more important for family-run businesses.
Here are some suggestions that will improve your efficiency and organization:
- Define work hours. Family members should arrange a certain sort of flexibility, as long as it improves their productivity. At the beginning of every workday, each employed member should write down their work hours for that day.
- Distribute tasks. Family members working in a family business need to distribute business tasks among themselves. When you know who is working on what, it’s easier to track the progress of projects and tasks. Project management tools will help you distribute and track the workload.
- Specify salaries and promotion rules. Depending on the number of family members working for a family business, different misunderstandings are possible. Finances are usually the most common issue in such ventures. To avoid this, specify all the salaries and adopt the promotion rules. Also, family members should define what share of profits they’ll share in case of larger or sudden projects that weren’t planned in the annual budget.
Define what belongs to whom
Closely related to the previous paragraph, family-run businesses will be more successful if they define in advance what belongs to whom.
As the number of emotionally related people involved in a business is growing, the probability that someone will feel neglected is increasing, as well.
If we follow the premise that the founders of a business are emotional and business partners (i.e. the parents in the family), they’re also some sort of the executive board. So, they need to define their shares, together with their kids’ percentage in the business ownership.
If those details are arranged in every employment contract for every working family member, nothing is left to chance. The aforementioned promotion and other remuneration rules, together with raises, will motivate all family members to give their best to family business matters.
Build a parenting structure
In a family-owned business in which kids are involved, the business owners, i.e. the parents, need to work on their business and parenting structure.
Some parents that juggle family and business spend too little time with their kids. While kids can benefit from the time they spend with babysitters, relatives, and grandparents, nobody can replace their parents.
Another common issue with parents managing their own venture is that they become overprotective helicopter parents. If you want to completely control everything your kids do, it will backfire, making your kids more restless.
Therefore, two parents running a business should manage their time in such a way that they have enough space for their kids. If possible, log off at 5 pm on Friday and don’t work until Monday morning.
This quality time that you commit to your kids will make them feel better, plus, you’ll manage to get proper rest from your work obligations.
To top it all off, you and your business partner/co-parent will have a chance to be emotional partners at weekends.
Learn how to sign out
We’ve mentioned how important it is for parents running a business together to sign out from work.
Here are a few hacks that will help you finish your tasks on time and spend some quality time with your family:
- Work more intensively from Monday and Thursday, and leave smaller tasks for Friday.
- Let your clients and suppliers know that you don’t work at weekends.
- Automate emails, invoices, social media campaigns, and other business operations that can be automated.
- Get two mobiles, one for work and one as your personal mobile. Once you shut down your computer and leave the office, switch off your business mobile.
- Avoid missing deadlines, because that will cause a butterfly effect with your tasks, and you’ll be constantly working longer hours.
When a family launches a business, they have a chance to make profits together, without working for others. However, there are many challenges on the road to success for such ventures. You need to clearly highlight the shares in that business, together with everybody’s responsibilities. Together with a clear parenting structure and efficient work hours, it will help partners/parents to grow their enterprise while properly meeting the professional and personal needs of all family members.