🚀 When it comes to small businesses, it’s a safe bet to say that a number of them might be family businesses too! According to SCORE, 1.2 million family owned businesses are run by spouses in the US. 

The definition of a family business is any business in which 2 or more family members run the company and when majority ownership is held by the family. There’s a lot to be said about running a business with your family, from strong ideas for the future to getting to work with some of the people you’re closest to.

We’ll walk you through some of the challenges of running a family business and some of the best things about them as well!

Separation of Business and Personal Life

This might just be one of the hardest things when it comes to working with your family. When you work with your spouse, kids, or a sibling, it can be difficult to separate the business and personal relationship you have with them. If things are strained at work or in your personal life, that stress might carry over into the other.

But one thing to consider is this: set boundaries early on.

If you can set boundaries that everyone agrees on, some headaches down the road might be avoided. These can include:

  • Know when you need to take a break.
  • Try to have as much open communication as possible.
  • Recognize what everyone in the family brings to the table.
  • Have everyone agree not to discuss business at fun family gatherings, like dinner.

These can help to have separation between family life and business life!

The Future’s Always There

We don’t mean this in an ominous way! When you have a family business, your overall ideas for the future are going to be clearly defined. This might be through conversations with your family or just through the general shared vision you all have.

Keeping everyone in the business involved in the future success you want to see can be an effective way to ensure that everyone’s on board!

Finding Roles That Fit A Family Member’s Skills

While you will most likely be hiring non-family employees as well, if you have family members that you are considering, keep in mind their skills! For example, maybe your sibling has experience in the PR field. Perhaps your business is a small publishing house.

Publishing houses often need PR professionals to handle public relations with book releases. Your sibling would be a great fit for an open PR role in your business.

Hiring family members into roles that they are suited for is a win for everybody. You fill a role with someone who has the skill needed and your family member (no matter if they were looking for a new role or were open to job offers) can bring their experience to the business.

As both a small business and a family business, there are plenty of challenges you might face. But if you take both the challenges and the positives when it comes to being a family business, you, your family, and your business will undoubtedly come out better in the end.


Have a boundary setting discussion regarding your family business if you haven’t yet!

Grow Your Family Business 2-5x

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