One of the most common mantras perpetuated by both the business community and many of the consumers is that one should never do business with family. The argument is that feelings and emotions get in the way of the business and so things can turn sour very quickly.
Where on earth did this mantra originate from though? I mean people throw it about so readily that it seems to be an established virtue of how business is to be approached.
When one looks at the history books though it would seem as if this is a completely misguided belief, perhaps by design. After all, big business would love to maintain the status quo of the masses assuming more of the role of consumers than entrepreneurs who harbour creative problem-solving capabilities. Would a supplier of a raw material you use to manufacture an end-user product sit you down and walk you through their sourcing model for example? No they wouldn’t…
So why then would the establishment share with the masses the one secret which would empower them so much that they wouldn’t need the services of the establishment anymore?
Alright, so getting back to the question of why one should never do business with family – there is absolutely no reason whatsoever not to get into business with friends and family. In fact, it is to your friends and family where you must take your first look for people to get into business with.
At the most fundamental of levels, all parties involved in this type of hustle know what needs to be done. All of you know how your economic situation is and so you’ll do everything in your power to make sure the business succeeds. Sure, there are many instances in which business partners start to feel entitled and so they throw a spanner in the works by not following proper business protocol, but that has nothing to do with the fact that you’re doing business with friends and family. It only has everything to do with the fact that you’re doing business with the wrong people and those people happen to be their relatives.
It doesn’t mean you have to rope in all your friends and family, put capital together and start a business. What it means is that you should bring together those of your friends and family with whom you can push a common vision of building a business and then from there establish clearly-defined roles and rules, complemented by clearly defined actions which are to be effected should any member not fulfil their role.
Some of the biggest and most successful businesses to date are family businesses, so every indication is that friends and family should definitely make for your preferred choice in business partners. Think Johnsons’ (formerly Johnson & Johnson) to name but just one of many family businesses which are established household names.
If making it work by way of your business operations means you can all go back home after hours and enjoy the fruits of your labour together, that’s more than enough motivation for any family business to flourish.