I was reading this article the other day and it reminded me so much of my own business, so I decided to give my input on the subject. Many entrepreneurs today are hiring family members to help run small businesses. There is a fine line when it comes to hiring family, just as there is when hiring friends. You really have to find a happy medium and essentially have to separate life from work when not at the office. A perfect example of this is my own. My real estate development company is run by myself, my fiancee and my father, who has been a successful businessman for many years. Of course there are trials and tribulations, but the one thing that always keeps us going in the right direction is accountability. We have to watch each others’ backs at all times. When it comes to large sums of money and in-depth contracts, the best person to be sitting next to you is the one who is not afraid to tell you that the deal is crap. Or that you’re spending way too much money on the landscaping, for example. Another important factor when hiring family are wages. Some family members don’t want to be paid at all, while others believe they deserve a bonus every 2 weeks. The ability to negotiate and keep members of the family happy is key, and also realizing that this is a business and sometimes pay rates are low due to externalities such as the market or long stretches without income. The most important aspect of hiring family to me is the ability to be honest with each other and set the boundaries before you even begin working together. Realize when the right time is to discuss business because this can become tiresome after a while. Respect each others feelings at all times and simply, be realistic.
Cary and Leann of CDB Properties