Whether your family business is online or a bricks and mortar business, the patriarch or matriarch must be able to manage both people and materials. All industries have management issues, whether they are service based or product based. Learning to manage these issues is an important management skill to learn. Here are some common problems and how to deal with them.
Lack of Cohesive Goals within the Family
Setting goals is often left up to the manager of the family business. This can result in conflict when everyone doesn’t buy in to those goals. It’s important to set your goals and milestones. The successful achievement should make everyone happy and satisfied with the end result. This requires every family member knows the goals and the desired outcome. Take a look at this article for seven steps to effective goal setting.
Not Controlling Scope Creep
Setting goals for your family business requires a clear explanation of what is expected of each family member or employee. In the execution of your goals is where “scope creep” appears. This character takes everyone off track by adding additional tasks that do not contribute to reaching your goals. You should be flexible in responding to unanticipated factors, and as the family business manager should make adjustments to the original plan as needed. But don’t let these take you off the track to accomplishing your goals.
In a family business, consensus and collaboration are more necessary than in other businesses. However, as in football, each player is ultimately responsible for their role on the field and the outcome of the game. If no player feels accountable, the game will be lost. The coach is responsible for the plays but each team member is accountable for their position. The family business manager is the coach in your family business and should let all family members clearly know what they are accountable for.
Continuing our football analogy, each player must have the skill to fulfill their role on the team. If they do not, then someone else must fill the gap. Without proper advanced planning and a full understanding of the deliverables it can be difficult to know what a project takes to complete. The family business manager should have a clear knowledge of this so they can fill the skill sets needed for each facet of the business.
Lack of Resources
It’s important the family business manager ensures the family business will have enough resources to be successful. Many businesses stall due to the failure to plan for things such as finance and human capital. For example, if you don’t set aside funding for marketing, you’ll fail at the most important point of the family business.
Everyone has that boss, or client, who wants things done yesterday. But yesterday is gone, and is obviously not possible. It’s up to you as the family business manager to give the client or the family team deadlines based on accurate projections and not wishful thinking. It’s just not possible to do things faster than they can be done.
Pete Walsh offers family business consulting services, workshops, tools and resources as the founder of Family Business Performance Center. Subscribe to his newsletter or get in touch to get actionable insights to help your family business grow for generations to come.