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5 Tips for Family Owned Small Businesses

Friday, May 25, 2012 by eFax Team

With Memorial Day just a few days away, we can look forward to spending this weekend relaxing at home or going on a weekend getaway. According to last year’s AAA predictions, 34.9 million Americans spent Memorial Day weekend last year traveling over 50 miles from their home. Whether you spend the weekend traveling or lounging out by the pool, we predict a lot of people will be spending it around friends and family.

While some people may see their family occasionally on weekends, others work closely throughout the week in their family businesses. According to an Intuit infographic, the Small Business Administration stated that there are approximately 21 million small businesses in the US, with 90% of them being family owned. In addition, 1.2 million of these family owned small businesses are run by a husband and wife.

Family businesses account for 60% of the nation’s employment and 78% of newly created jobs. Sadly, however, only 40% of family owned businesses survive to the second generation, with only 3% to survive to the fourth generation.

How can your small business live beyond these statistics? Here are 5 tips to running a successful family business:
memorial day weekend barbeque bbq family bbq
  • Communicate. In any relationship, communication is key. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion just because it is family. They may not always know what you’re thinking or what your expectations are.
  • Expectations need to be set. Discuss what you expect from each other in terms of roles. Define what each person’s responsibility is before you start your business.
  • Have a formal business relationship. Draft a formal business agreement that includes what each person’s role is. While you may be reluctant to do so because it may display a lack of trust, it’s important to run your business formally and protect all parties involved.
  • Prioritize. Family always comes first. You can always start another business, but you only get one family. Put your disagreements into perspective and remember you are family first then business partners.
  • Have fun. Set aside time that’s strictly family without a trace of business. Whether it’s having lunch together, exercising, or grabbing drinks at happy hour – spending time with family without discussing work helps strengthen a family bond and support your working relationship. Remember this tip this weekend when you're hanging out by the pool having a barbeque with your family.

Have a great time with friends and family this weekend!

eFax Team - eFax Team

eFax is the world’s #1 online fax service, and we have been for nearly 20 years. More than 11 million customers use eFax every day to send and receive business faxes online, including small businesses around the world and nearly half of the Fortune 500.