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6 Pitfalls Of A Family Owned And Operated Businesses

Monday, January 31, 2011 7:40
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Many family run businesses have the same problems and many fall into the common and well known pitfalls. Many family owned and operated businesses use that as their trademark catch-call, when it could actually be turning away new customers. Is your family business a victim of lacking expert knowledge, such as with specialist and modern sales training for example? Here is a look at some of the common pitfalls of family owned and operated businesses.


  • Personal relationships. Too often than not, personal relationships in the family slip into the professional environment. You may be doing this and not even noticing but your customers and your staff will be. This is one of the major pitfalls of most family owned and operated businesses. If you were looking from the outside, what would you think?


  • Expert knowledge. As your business grows, you may need expert knowledge in more areas. The larger that your business becomes, the more professional it is expected to seem and operate. Do you know all the advantages of modern day customer service training and technology in your coffee shop for example? Without outside expert knowledge you could be cutting off your future potential and even damaging your existing business.


  • Structure. The structure of your family may be being replicated in the structure of your family. Do family members have to wait for you to die to have real tangible ownership in your business. How much of your company structure is tied to the structure of your family. This can be very detrimental to your business and your relationships and hinder the growth and development of other people’s lives.


  • Training the trainer. Just because you are good at what you do, does not mean that you are good at teaching other people how to do that, whether they are family or not. This is a big area of mis-understanding of many small business owners. You might need training in purely training skills so that you can impart your knowledge efficiently and effectively. Someone might not have to wait 5 years to gain the skills and knowledge unlike you did. Modern techniques in teaching have greatly improved the way that we learn.


  • Business is business. Unfortunately there are no friends and family in business. This can be one of the toughest areas of running a family owned business. Are you making decisions that are detrimental to the development of your company?


  • Fairness. Any good business should be fair. Fair in its operations and fair in the way that it promotes healthy competition internally. Family businesses tend to be unfair, either for or against family members. This can be very damaging and even legally damaging to your future.


The challenges of a family run business are great, and if they are faced with professional help and an open mind, they can be dealt with. Seeking professional help and keeping objective are essentials.

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