It’s never a cakewalk to invest and take the inherent risk necessary to expand a business, of course, by hiring the next employee, adding a new product or service, opening a second location or borrowing to finance new equipment. But when a family is involved, things can get prickly for a variety of reasons —many of them having nothing to do with the business case for expansion.
“I don’t like the word ‘dynasty,’ but that’s what it is. It’s not just a business. There’s a lot going on in the background.” – Jake Dyson
Family businesses are more than entrepreneurial endeavors. They are an emotional investment, creating deep personal ties with your relatives, employees, community and yourself. Is it possible to scale and expand one without losing those ties and the personal touch that made you a success in the first place? Of course it is, if you can learn to separate emotion from business and run your business like a business.
Here are the 7 steps that can help you to grow your family business:
1. Family & Business Values
Your roots are your USP understand them well focus on your core values and align them among the team. The transformation that comes from growth can be unsettling for your customers who are drawn to the personal touch of your family business. Keep them abreast of what’s afoot and assure them that they aren’t going to lose that level of familiarity and comfort they trust and rely on.
2. Clean Hierarchy & Organization Structure
It is critical to have clean hierarchy in family business to avoid any kind of creative, operational or financial issues. With proper organization structure you avoid internal politics and differences that can effect the growth. Every one will have their clear KPI’s & KRA’s in place to keep them focused on track and progressing in the future. We can always change the KPI’s/KRA’s according to their interest, passion and expertises as well.
3. Innovation & Adaptation
Family business must innovate & adopt new technologies, ideas, strategies etc. to stay ahead in the market they must continuously work on their product or services and try to make it as user friendly as it could be. By new innovation you can target the new market segment and surprise your current customers also adapting new technology will make your business more credible and trustworthy.
4. Hire Thoughtfully (On value basis)
To grow a business, you will have to hire new employees. This may be something you are used to doing, or it may be the first time someone outside the family has worked for you.
In either case, be thoughtful and careful about who you bring on. Every new hire should represent the values that define your business. Don’t be afraid to turn away qualified candidates who don’t feel like quite the right fit. When your names is on the business, employees do more than represent a company. They also represent your family and the history behind your work.
5. Value Proposition
It is arguably the most important element of your overall marketing messaging. A value proposition tells prospects why customers should buy your product/services with you rather than your competitors, it focuses on the promise of value to be delivered, features & benefits of your product/services clearly. Customers who are loyal to a family business may dislike the idea of change or worry that your business is going to lose personal touch. To reassure them, communicate as openly as possible. Use your marketing channels to explain the value proposition and exactly what is happening in the business & show them through every interaction that you will still retain the level of service that you’ve always had.
6. Make Alliances or Collaborations
Don’t try to do it all yourself. If you found that by collaborating you will get better opportunities to cater your target customer then meet another brand without effecting each other’s core businesses to develop competitive advantage from other players.
Rebecca Montrenes, CEO of Lanyards USA, says, “Partnerships are pretty awesome. We regularly partner with brands in new territories to reach far more than our capacity can reach as a company. Partnerships help us get deeper market penetrations which end up with the two companies making a profit as a result.”
7. Get a Business Coach
You got it right, for any business to grow steady & faster you need someone who can help you brainstorm to get the best out of yourself and your team, getting a business coach will not only help you to stay ahead from your competitors also helps you in making successful business & marketing strategy while mapping & developing your core team’s strengths. Today, getting a coach is common and many successful entrepreneurs, business owners, investors even celebrities has a coach like Tony Robbins, John Mattone, Saurabh Kaushik, etc to name a few, so don’t hesitate to get a personal business coach for yourself and your business to move ahead from your competitors it is the best gift you can give to yourself and your business to scale faster.
How to Grow Your Family Business
Building a family business takes years — sometimes generations — of hard work. Once you decide to grow and expand, be prepared for that to happen slowly, too.
Whether you are opening new locations, creating a franchise or adding new services, each step of the process takes time, especially if you want to preserve the legacy of the original business.
“When we took over, we made a pact that we wouldn’t argue about little things. We get along because the business is more important than who’s right and who’s wrong.” – Judith Lowry
Nothing happens overnight, building a legacy demand time, hard work and a lot of learnings. Nothing that’s going to survive can be easy