How to Correct A Family Business or Partnership That is Struggling
July 25, 2023
It can be difficult to know how to correct the course of your business when it is struggling – especially if it is a family business or a partnership. Multiple leaders and “bosses” might not always agree on the right courses of action. Whether you are running a business with family members or have a partnership with likeminded people, there are 3 foundational criteria to ensure that your business is running smoothly and continues to grow and prosper:
Everyone needs to have an understanding of the company’s vision. Simply put, there needs to be a general consensus within your team when asked what direction they see the company going. You can’t have one person expecting to go one place, and another person thinking the company’s going somewhere else entirely. You’ll get nowhere.
Without an agreed-upon vision, your business will be like a boat going in circles as everyone works to push it in different directions, making no progress in the direction you actually want to go. People need to understand it, agree with it, and own it.
There needs to be mutual trust and respect for each other’s values within the workplace. A shared goal is a very effective tool in uniting a team of people, and shared values make collaboration and discussion that much more harmonious. Your shared values of integrity serve as a positive example to everybody in the business, and set the bar for your business’s reputation.
Values are critical – without them, what are you all about?
When you are running a business with someone – whether it be your family, a partner, or stakeholders – you want to ensure that there is an equal level of commitment from all parties. Shared passion for the business needs to be a sentiment felt by all for a partnership to succeed. You also need to respect the contributions made by others, just as you want to be respected for your own contributions to the business. Lead by example. Your commitment to the business sets a standard for passion, urgency, and accountability for everybody else.
These are the 3 foundational criteria that should be clear among the people you work with, and should be re-evaluated if your business is struggling.
Once your foundational criteria items are fulfilled, work on these next three elements to help your business proceed to the next level.
Working with a team of other people only works if you have confidence in their abilities to do the jobs that you have delegated and described for each other. You have to trust that they can do their job and, sometimes even more difficult, you have to LET them do their job. No micromanaging – it won’t help them, and it wastes your own time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere.
Above all else, do not make disparaging remarks about their performance. You have to feel confident in them so that they can feel confident in themselves.
Shared businesses require a balanced relationship between partners, a willingness to work together, and an understanding that you are equals. This goes for family business or a partnership that’s working correctly as well, or else they’ll find another place where they might be struggling. An unbalanced familial relationship will surely pave the way for a disastrous business relationship. The best partnerships have a strong rapport that is continually building through cooperation, communication, and respect. Getting along with each other and respecting each other’s differences will be very important as you grow your business.
Open communication between partners is the perfect environment for great ideas. For a successful business, you have to be able to engage in respectful debate and courageous conversations with your partners or family members. This is not only to move your business forward, but also to prevent small problems from developing into a larger issue. Doubts and concerns can be easily remedied with thoughtful and nonjudgmental conversation between partners.
It is critical that these three things are kept at the forefront of your mind when working with your partners and family business, because this is what will allow the business to move forward and keep your boat headed the direction you want to go – without struggling.
Sometimes a little outside help brings much-needed clarity on how to progress. Coach Ken can help you assess and build your family business or make a stronger partnership. Find out how by talking to a coach today!