4 Tips for Taking Over the Family Business

There are advantages to taking over your family’s business. One of the main points is that you do not have to start from scratch. The place has been up and running for a long time and probably has a loyal customer base. On the other hand, there can be some challenges too. It can be hard to separate the business from family dynamics, and this can mean there is plenty of emotion tied up in what should be fairly straightforward business decisions. It can also be difficult to make changes, especially if that means trying to get other family members to change how they do things. The tips below can help you step more smoothly into this role.

Consider a Business Degree

Even if your family members ran the business without a degree, you may want to get one. While it’s true that you can learn a lot on the job, a college degree will teach you a great deal you would have only learned through trial and error. It will also teach you the underlying theory behind a lot of business practices and can give you some new perspectives on how to run things. If you are concerned about what the degree will cost you, you can look into loans and other ways to cover tuition and related expenses, such as scholarships and grants. By registering and creating a profile with a free scholarship search and application platform, you can get matched with opportunities that fit your needs, as well as being able to utilize Going Merry scholarships to get help with the application process as well.

Consider Company Culture

It’s natural that you may make some changes to the business as you step into your new role, but unless the company culture is a dysfunctional one, it’s a good idea to not make too many changes or you could risk alienating longtime staff. In fact, you may want to go the extra mile and reassure people that elements of working for the company that they love will not change. There are some common ethical dilemmas you may face so if you do have to make some alterations, do so gradually and be sure that the staff understands the reasons.

Create a Business Plan

Many think of business plans as something associated with a new venture, but it’s a good idea to sit down with the family members you are taking over the business from and create a new business plan. This can be especially helpful if your family members keep a lot in their heads and have not documented much. It can also help you think through any weaknesses in the company that you need to address and set new goals.

Establish Your Credibility

You may be faced with a challenge in establishing your credibility with both family members and staff. You will need to work hard and make it clear that you are not slacking or taking advantage of your position. Among family members, you may also have to take on a new role as mediator and peacemaker if there are tensions.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.