It’s not easy growing a family business. Considering that the vast majority of family businesses are small businesses, you should be aware of the potential scaling risks that come with such an endeavor.
But growth is indeed possible. However, you have to do it the right way. So if that’s something that interests you, we have an article for you. With all that said, let’s start.
Consolidate Before Growing
First things first, growth is impossible without making sure your family business is in good working order. Consolidation will give you the much-needed stability to build on top of it. No business will succeed if they don’t have the infrastructure for it, and that’s why we consolidate first.
While it might be tempting to open a new location and start stocking it, it’s an obvious mistake if you don’t have the means to sustain your current store. Remember that growing your family businesses cannot be done fast; it’s a process that takes time to execute. So before you go around and look for ways to scale, look for ways to make sure the foundation of your family businesses is stable.
Think About It
Family businesses are meant to be managed by more than one individual. The whole purpose of a family business is for everyone to learn the trade to be more effective in managing it. No doubt someone is the head of the business, with the remaining family members serving supportive roles. Unless you happened to make decisions on everything together, then you will need to gather everyone at the table and discuss your next move.
It’s no good thinking about it yourself without asking the rest of the family for their opinions. You need to make sure that everyone is on board as otherwise, you’ll risk angering the rest of the family. When it comes to successfully growing a family business to the next level, it’s all about communication. Multiple minds are more effective than one, so make sure to think about it and talk things through with the family.
Maintain Core Family and Business Values
One of the reasons why so many people are in love with the prospect of a “family business” is that it combines family values with business values. This is in fact the reason why many people prefer doing business with small businesses. No doubt growth will inevitably compromise those values, but successfully preventing that will be your biggest challenge.
If you lose the very essence that makes your company unique, you’ll lose your customers. With growth comes scaling, and with scaling comes hiring more people. These people, chances are, won’t be from your family circle. So you’ll need to make sure no hiring mistakes are made. The personal touch of a family business is a huge draw. Losing that will only lose customers.
Carefully Hire Employees
Regardless of how much you’re opposed to it, you will need to hire more people if you plan on growing. But here lies a unique opportunity to do more good than harm. No doubt hiring new people will compromise the personal touch your company offers customers. But recruitment is absolutely essential. Otherwise, you’re risking overworking yourself to the ground. There are obvious downsides to this, so it’s important you spend more time on hiring the right people. When the time comes, you will need to make sure the new employees fully understand and believe in the values of the business. Otherwise, you’ll lose the very thing that makes you so unique.
Always Learn More
Managing a business, let alone a small family business is never easy. Not only do you have to constantly overcome difficulties, but you also have to compete with big companies. Naturally, the latter can be significantly hard to do as chances are you lack the financial power to do so. But whereas big companies are financially strong, you can be smart about your next move.
As a business owner, it is your job to find ways how to make your product or service better than those with big budgets. Since you won’t be able to financially compete with big companies, you can find all kinds of financially savvy ways to do exactly that. You will also need to find ways to advertise the business to compete with bigger brands.
When it comes to growing a family business, remember that you can do plenty to prepare yourself for what lies ahead and smoothly manage the process.
Growing a business is hard stuff. In most cases, it will take you years before you even think about doing it. But once the opportunity presents itself, you will have to seize it with both hands. Regardless if growth means opening a new location or adding new services and products, it should be done the smart way. Never compromise the values of your business and make sure to educate yourself on how to do it successfully.