Business Development & Conflict Resolution

We assist individuals with starting their own businesses because small business is key to economic independence and community sustainability.

Who should be in charge of the Family Business?

When it comes to starting a small business with family can be a very daunting task.  At times, being around family members can be very difficult and stressful at times.  Going into business with family members means that not only will you see them at home, but you will be spend a lot of time with them at work as well.  There is a very thin line between staying professional when it comes to family business dealings.  Also, it is not advisable to allow your personal feelings and personal emotions to play a part in running a family business.  But, at the same token it can be the best thing to go into business with family because they have the same drive and ambition to want the business to succeed.

When deciding to start a business with family members, you must take certain things into consideration before doing so.  With a family business, you have to decide on the following:

  • Who will be in charge of the daily operations of the business?
  • Who will be in charge of sales and getting new customers?
  • Who will handle the money for the business?
  • Who will handle the firing and hiring of employees?

The most important question to ask when it comes to a family business “Who is the boss of the entire business?”  It is imperative that any small business have the “go to person” or “go to team” who will make all major decisions concerning the business.  It is always good to have one person who is able to make important decisions concerning the business to be in charge.  This will avoid much confusion and chaos when it comes to making major decisions that will ensure that the business stays open and continues to operate in an effective way.

The best way to run a family business is to create a Board of Directors where that includes family members and third parties with a personal stake in the business.  It is always good to ensure that you have an uneven number of board members.  With an uneven number of board members, this helps to break tied votes on important issues concerning the family business.

In many cultures, there is this belief that men should be in charge of everything and women should not be involved in important activities like business and politics.  But, in the cultures where women are given leeway to participate in business and politics, their poverty level is not that high.  The best person to be charge of a family business has the following characteristics:

  • Even tempered.
  • Thinks rationally.
  • Has an open mind.
  • Not afraid to seek guidance from others.
  • Know when it is good to lead and when it is good work as a team.
  • Has the knowledge and skills needed to be a good leader.

The person in charge of the family business must understand that they are not the sole owner of the business, but that it is owned by the entire family and each family member has placed a financial stake and personal stake into the business.  The family member who is in charge of the business should not be someone with the following characteristics or traits:

  • Egoistic.
  • Self-centered.
  • Does not like to take advice.
  • Refuses to have a meeting on major decisions.
  • Wants to have final decision making power.
  • Refuses to seek help from others when needed.
  • Refuses to meet others halfway.

Running a family business takes everyone involved to play a vital role in the daily operation of the business.  The most successful family businesses that are passed down from generation to generation are those that had a great leader who understood the needs and concerns of the entire family.  Being a great leader is not based on your sex, age, education, or work experience.  Being a good leader is based on being rational, putting the needs of others first, and believing in team work.  Running a family business requires a lot of team work and compromise.  Also, the best family businesses are those who are not afraid to change their practices and procedures to stay current with the changing times.  The most successful family businesses have good leaders who ensure that company practices and procedures put the needs of the customers first.

So, when deciding who should be in charge of the family business, it is imperative to ensure that the “leader” puts the needs of the rest of the family into consider at all times.  Also, the leader of the business should not be afraid to share the role with other family members and keep all owners informed of the daily decisions concerning the business.

Running the family business takes a lot of work and effort from all individuals involved in the daily operation of the business.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.  She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals.  She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC). Both are based in Baltimore, Maryland and were established in 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance.  She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so. Contact information:;;;;

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