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Making a Family Business Run Smoothly

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 20, 2006

Some family businesses are all sound and fury and have more in common with the plot of a soap opera than a Harvard B-school case study. But if you follow these six commandments you’ll be well on your way to success:

•Too many chefs spoil the broth. In a family business, everyone should have a say, but at the end of the day one person has to have the final word.

•If you structure it properly, it will prosper. It’s imperative that each family member clearly understands his title, responsibilities, evaluation criteria, and most importantly, compensation. If everything is spelled out, there is less chance for conflict.

•Close at hand, close at heart. It’s important to have ample face-to-face meetings to iron out business problems and nip potential conflicts in the bud.

•The family that plays together, stays together. Don’t forget to have fun as a family outside of work. But be sure to separate business from personal time and give each person his or her own space.

•Talk the talk and walk the walk. Family members need to work harder to show they are earning their keep and not resting on family ties. Treat everyone the same, be they employee or family member. Otherwise, morale suffers.

•Keep your eyes on the financial prize. Once the money starts coming in, don’t be tempted to gorge on things like company cars or other perks. Keep everyone’s eyes on the long term.

Kamran Farid
COO and co-founder
Edible Arrangements Franchise Group
Hamden, Conn.

Reader Comments


March 20, 2008 6:32 PM

This information was really well done and easy to follow. I am only 16 and this is one route I could possibly take if I get going. Again thank you for this information--I got some tips from it as well.


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