Have you ever tried to work with a brother or sister on planning a family function, like a surprise 50th for your mom or an anniversary party for your parents? What always happens?
One person ends up doing all the work. One person does next to nothing. Feelings get hurt and it causes a little bit of a crack in the sibling bond foundation.Â Itâ€™s not worth it to me.
Well, going into business with a relative is worse because the financial stakes are much higher and as we all know, money is the root of all evil.
If you are going to go into business with a family member, which I totally do not recommend, here are a few things to consider first.
Whoâ€™s in charge? In my experience, when one family member is paying the other family member to perform a service, there is a tension built on expectation. For example, if I hired my little sister to photoshop photos and she did a not so hot job, how comfortable would I be bringing it up to her and asking her to re-do it, if she expected to get paid? Would she be able to take orders from me seriously since I am her sister?
In our case, the answer is probably yes because I am the older sister and sheâ€™s always taken what Iâ€™ve said as serious at the risk of a purple nurple. But what if she hired me to write her blog; would I take her seriously? Probably not. For one, Iâ€™m the one whoâ€™s been writing a blog for three years. Sheâ€™s never written anything, ever. But Iâ€™m also 5 years older than her and her giving me direction or reprimand would never be taken completely serious on my part on some level.
Clearly defining expectations and who is responsible for what from the beginning is needed immediately upon deciding to go into business with a relative. If you are the one paying for services, you need to feel comfortable enough to talk to your employee, blood related or not, about your concerns. Being related is a not a get out of trouble card.
Is your work ethic compatible? If you are the type who works tirelessly to get a job done well, then it is probably not a good idea to go into business with your cousin who thrives on deadlines and waits until the very last moment. You will be in a situation where you are frustrated and angry with your relative and yourself for not being able to get the job done on your time line.
Some people thrive doing their best work at the last minute; others feel better getting the work done early so that they have time to check it over in triplicate and never shall the two ever work together lest someoneâ€™s head end up exploding from frustration.
Are you familiar with his/her work? Has it impressed you? Are they good at what they do? I donâ€™t care if itâ€™s your own mama; do not ever hire a person to work for you (or be your partner in a business) if you have not seen an example of their work.
Just because she gave birth to you doesnâ€™t mean that she knows squat about marketing your new business. Sure, she knows how to brag about you to everyone she knows, but that doesnâ€™t mean that your mama can get the job done to your expectations. Donâ€™t hire until youâ€™ve seen her work in action. Honestly, do you want to have to fire your own mama?
How important is the relationship to you? Can you live without it? You can usually live without business partners; they come and go but what if that business partner is a relative? Can you live without your mom, dad, sister, brother, cousin Fred or Grandma Joan?
These people will be part of your life until one of you dies, so think long and hard before you go into business with these people. If you canâ€™t see yourself living without them, then maybe you should keep your business and your family separate. Pay a little more and get a professional.
What do you think about relatives going into business together? Would you do it?
Photo Source: Born 1945