If you’re running a business, you’ll start thinking about involving your children in its performance and allowing them to participate in the decision-making process at a certain point in your kids’ lives. Many kids express interest in their parents business and desire to help out from a really young age. But as they become older and able to make a substantial contribution, you will start to induct them into your company even more. You’ll share your knowledge and practical tips, teach them the basic skills and give them an opportunity to gain a valuable business operating experience even before they graduate high school or college. So, bringing kids into the family business sounds like a completely natural thing everyone will benefit from, right?
Well, there’re certain things and complications that may happen along the way, as well as precautions you, as a parent and a business owner, need to make when including your kids in your business affairs. These tips will help you ensure positive experience for your kids and maintain a healthy business and family balance
Tips for involving children in the family business
1. Make sure that it’s something they’re really passionate about
Your kids’ active participation in family business should be something they want, but not something they’re compelled or forced to do. You may do you best to make them interested in the sphere you operate in, share your passion and get them just as enthusiastic about your business and its development as you are. At the same time, you have to ensure that continuing your legacy and running a company in the future is your child’s desire, but not something they believe they’re obliged to do.
If your child wants to work for your business as a regular employee temporarily, to earn some money during the last school years or college, and there’s a vacant place, you absolutely can bring him in. But, if his intentions don’t go beyond that, don’t push him to stay and allow him to leave to pursue his dream career. Remember, that you started a certain business because you were inclined toward this sphere and were passionate about building your company in it. Your child deserves the same chance to build different plans for his future.
2. Aim for a smooth transition
Apart from their genuine interest, your children should have the necessary potential. They also need to have at least basic knowledge relevant to your company’s operation and skills required to perform the tasks they will be put in charge of.
There’s no shame in learning and making mistakes, but sending your kids to professional training courses and involving them as interns will be the best idea. You may also let your kids help around from a young age, but make sure that the work you give them is age-appropriate. For instance, if you’re an owner of a general construction company, don’t let your young child do the heavy lifting or engage in different activities within the construction zone without any supervision, as your kid may get injured under the most unexpected circumstances.
3. Spend quality time with kids outside business
Once your child is involved in a family business, you automatically spend more time together. However, you need to learn to separate family and business affairs, discussions and meetings and make some space for quality time in your schedule. This is rather important for the health of your family and the state of your relations with your child.
Make a conscious effort not to talk much about business once you leave the office and transition into a family environment. Engage in family activities and personal discussions instead.
4. Let them pursue their own goals and complete education
As we’ve already established, your child has the final vote when it comes to the participation in your business. If developing your moving company and stepping in as an owner after you decide to retire isn’t something your child wants to do in his future, you should not force him to get involved or make him feel bad about his decision. If there’s a certain career path your child wants to pursue or a certain college degree he wants to receive, let him become in charge of his own life and make his own choices.
Maybe, he will express his desire to get involved later, or maybe he’ll become successful in something else. In this case, you need to be a parent worrying about your child’s future and encouraging him to become what he wants to be in the first place, and a businessman caring for his company – in the second one.
5. Share your experience, but let them try what they want
If your child makes a conscious, independent choice to get involved, share your knowledge and experience with him to speed up the learning process and prevent him from making the same mistakes you made before. At the same time, don’t stand in his way too much and let him make his own business decisions. At least minor ones.
Let your child feel that his voice is important. Give him an opportunity to develop initiatives, but subject them to constructive criticism and evaluation before implementing them. In short, be quite realistic about his suggestions, but make sure to keep your mind open. Young people may have brilliant ideas worth looking into.
6. Pay them
You bring your child to your business, and he becomes your employee. It means that you need to pay for his work. Start at the wage a beginning worker of your company receives and move up as he improves in his career.
Furthermore, you have to actually pay him his money instead of putting it in the savings account or keeping it in the family budget. Treat your child fairly and let him control the money he earned just like everyone else.