Today I want to talk about something that began with me involving first my father in my property adventures.
In my mind, since entering the world of business – one of the big things I want to do is to use my success to help my family.
Here’s practically how that has played out:
Asked my sister Kanti and brother-in-law Steve to get involved in my (stalling) property business.
My father is helping manage my properties
My nephew Gary is heading up my sales team
My niece Rebecca works part time doing some cold calls
My cousin Janki starts her trial in our outbound sales team tomorrow
My auntie Rani is exploring the idea of getting involved in our accounts department
My niece Federica was also part of Pearl Lemon for one year
That’s 7 members of my family who at some level I’ve involved in my business. I did also involve my friend Adrian and that, unfortunately, did not work out from a ‘work’ perspective but we’re still great friends.
On the basis of my experiences so far – I want to offer some insights into the dangers and benefits of involving friends and family in your business.
You can (in the main) trust your family
Now – there’s a heavy amount of assumptions built-in within this – but the idea with your family is that you can trust them to do their best work and do what’s best for the business.
And you can trust them with…in theory everything.
So in the instance of my sister, cousins, nephews, father, and all – I have complete trust that they’ll always do what Is best for the business.
Your family will be loyal
Another important component of the business is loyalty. One of the challenges when you hire people who are NOT blood-related to you – is that they at any point could leave.
This is MUCH less likely to happen with family. They are much more likely to be loyal and basically stick around.
This is a big bonus that means you can sleep better at night.
Especially when it comes to thinking about the long-term success of your business.
They will work harder (on average) than other people within your business
Gary in my outbound sales team is a direct example of someone who works 8am – 6pm and works hard to make sure everything is running smoothly.
In his mind it’s not a question to even ‘question’ the effort he puts in – and much of that I suspect is that he’s working with family and therefore he will do what he can to get things done – even when he needs to work longer hours.
With all of this being said there of course – are also challenges with working with your family…
- What if they don’t work out?
- What if they cause problems…
What if all of the normal things that come with work happen with your family?
Well…this is what you need to do upfront:
- Remind them that it’s a professional relationship from a competency perspective
- Setup rules of engagement for how to manage issues when they come up
- And be clear about your working SOP when it comes to engaging with each other
- Give them a clear exit strategy from the start – which goes along the lines of ‘if you don’t enjoy working with me then please be honest – no offense will be taken’ – just be honest and we can wrap things up
Equally…you have to accept the inherent dangers that come with hiring family. They ultimately cannot be avoided. As with everything there is a risk.
It’s just about understanding which are the risks worth taking.
Regular Check-Ins Are Important
Much like your other members of staff – having regular check-ins with them to ask ‘how things are going?’ ‘how is it all working’ and the like is critical to anyone’s success.
This (in my instance) isn’t more complicated than popping them a voice note on WhatsApp asking ‘how’s it going? What do you dislike? What do you like?’ and the rest to ascertain what they feel about everything.
What do you do if things aren’t working?
If you’ve set expectations from the beginning – then you’ll have a process in place for if things aren’t working.
And ideally – on both sides, it’ll be clear if it isn’t working and the rest will take care of itself.
To begin with for the first few months with friends and family it’s important to take things slow so that you can both get a feel of working with each other and discover what that’s like.
I’ve had family involved for just a couple of months now – but have seen the model work with my uncle involving several members of the family and then going to him for advice.
He actually told me ‘always hire friends and family if you can – you’ll get better loyalty, harder work, and better results from having family involved than people you don’t know’.
And of course, it’s a powerful way to help give back and support your family in a way that allows them to add value to your business.
For me – I wouldn’t have it any other way.
N.B I will say – it’s not that you can’t find this type of work ethic and loyalty in non-family’ members of your team – but the likelihood of it is much less common. People such as Lydia, Ion, Pearl and more are basically like family at this stage. So I thank you guys as well for being as amazing as you are ☺