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How to keep your family business running smoothly

According to the Small Business Administration, nine out of 10 businesses in the United States are family-owned.  We’re proud to be one of them. We understand that, while running a family business can be extremely rewarding, it can also open the door to some big challenges. Here are a few helpful tools to avoid some of the more common issues that arise when family members work together.

• Establish a clear chain of command. This needs to be decided, and then put in writing so that it is clear to everyone. The roles and responsibilities of each person must be written and understood.
• Communicate. Family members may get too comfortable with each other, which makes clear communication difficult. Think about possibly holding regular meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.
• Hire the right person for the job. There may be pressure to hire family members simply because they need a job. This could be a dangerous situation if the person is not qualified for a particular job. You must look at who would be the best for the job.
• Treat everyone fairly. All employees must receive equal treatment, whether they are a part of your family or not.  
• Seek external advice. People outside of the company may have excellent insight into how to keep the business growing.
• Don’t take business home. You probably will see your family members outside of the office. Try to avoid discussing work matters in this situation. Just save it for the work environment.
• Plan for your successor. You want the business to continue to grow, even after you are no longer able to keep it up. That is why you take the time now to decide who will take over important roles in the future.

From Intuit’s Small Business Blog: “7 Tips for Succeeding as a Family Business,”
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