Why Employing Friends and Family Is Not A Great Idea For Your Business
The lists of dos and don’ts for running a successful business can be overwhelming, especially when you are starting out. Here’s why you should hold back on employing those close to you
Many successful businesses have started out as a one-man show. It’s natural for any business person to work themselves to the bone to see their business grow and it can be tempting to allow friends and family to help out, especially on a voluntary basis. But you have to keep in mind that you are running a business and being professional, while you are at it, is important for you to be taken seriously. While some businesses take off in the first few months of opening, others can take years to either break even or even make a profit. Every business journey is different and although the foundations of passion, hard work and understanding your market are similar and you have to have to find what works for you and your unique selling point. Here’s why I think employing those close to you is not such a good idea:
Impartiality might be difficult: Emotions are always involved when dealing with family and friends, and it won’t be different in a business setting. Somehow, unless they are as professional and do put to the table the skills you need to run a successful business, expectations from them will be different and even impossible to deliver.
They might expect more freedom: Some people naturally take things lightly and might not think they are harming your business. For them, it might not be a big deal if they miss deadlines, don’t fully understand the business and even their role, miss deadlines, and if you have a team might expect to be treated differently. How, then do you discipline those close to you without being made to feel guilty?
The relationship might not be same again: What if your business will survive by letting go of your friends or family, will things be the same, especially with the rest of the family? This is something to think about.
It might be harder to be objective: In the world of business there is no time to nurse personal feelings and giving constructive criticism to your family might be difficult because they might take things personally. If it’s difficult to draw the line with those close to you on a professional basis, stay away from employing them.
There is no harm in bringing people close to you on your team, especially if they have something great to offer your business. But don’t make the mistake of employing people for the sake of helping them out, you have a brand to grow and it needs a team that is as passionate and professional as you.
Have you employed family or friends in your business? How has the experience been?