How to Handle Common Problems in a Family Owned Company

Some people dream of managing their own family business and not having to answer to any demanding corporate boss or endure obnoxious colleagues and cruel office gossip. However, it’s not really a walk in the park for all entrepreneurs or business owners because they also have to contend with a lot of issues regarding the management of their family owned company.

businessmen-boxing-008Imagine if you would have to manage all the tiny details of your business and constantly hear your father or mother treat you like a little child when it comes to your opinions? What if you have a younger brother who slacks around and doesn’t do his part of the managing of your family business but gets the same credits or benefits from it? What if your family business has become big and other relatives start having their own take on issues and conflicts arise between family members? These are just some of the real issues and struggles that face people engaged in a family owned company.

So what can you do if you are in this kind of situation? Check out our list below and maybe you will have a new technique to handle your family business conflicts:


Slow Decision Making

Since a family business is owned technically by the entire family, if it has many members, those member would often want to have a say on the direction of the company. That means taking part in crucial decision making for the business. While this sounds but natural, it can also slow down decision making because every member still needs to be consulted before the business as a whole can arrive at a conclusion or decision about a very important matter.

If you have noticed the same problem in your family owned company, you can suggest to change the business structure. Instead of a very hierarchical approach to decision making, why not propose managers to lead departments and then make decisions for smaller matters on their discretion. This can make the decision making process faster and results can also come in faster for the different departments or sections in your business.


Personal Conflicts

There is the reality that even if this is a family owned company, family members will not necessarily get along when it comes to decisions and the direction where the business will go. There are cases where personal conflicts between family members become to great and serious that the business becomes affected and other family members start breaking away from the company.

In order to prevent or control such personal conflicts, it’s important to have regular meetings between the members so that they can have a time to sit down and talk or work out their differences. Also, it would help if the family members would be reminded of how to be professional—this means with their behavior and work ethics—even if they are in a family owned company. If they remain professional and treat other family members with respect and actively contribute to the company, then you can effectively prevent personal conflicts from arising.