The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
A. Be Open
Family businesses can be tough, but honesty and openness are the best policies. Any change that will materially improve the business will generally be an easy sell when push comes to shove.
- Josh Weiss, Bluegala
A. Discuss Your Goals
You may be a family first, but a family business is still a business. If you can come to an agreement about why you're there -- and your suggested changes relate to that purpose -- the conversation becomes much easier.
- Emily Eldridge Holdman, PeopleKit
A. Present Positive Changes
Present positive changes and the possible outcomes if these changes are put into place. It is important to know the correct approach and how your family members best respond. It's best to not put them on the defensive but, rather, get them excited for these changes by showing what positive results they could yield.
- Amanda Barbara, Pubslush
A. Be Respectful
You need to present logical information. When you're giving this information, you shouldn't be offensive. It's easy for some people to treat family like dirt because they feel like they can. Don't do this. Be honest and open with your partners.
- John Rampton, Adogy
A. Inform Them
No matter what changes you want to make, it's important to talk them over with your family first before talking to any other employees. You don't want them to feel left in the dark -- even if they don't agree with you.
- Juliette Brindak, Miss O and Friends
A. Involve a Third Party
Family businesses can be tough. I've had family members working in my business for the past 18 years. I've found the best investment has been a third-party HR executive who can help me make decisions and also serve as a neutral voice. That person should ensure that everything is about business and nothing is personal.
- Tina Wells, Buzz Marketing Group
A. Be Transparent
The one thing I've found is that if you're transparent and honest with people, they'll usually accept whatever change needs to happen. People will listen to somebody who makes a reasonable case for the change but also specifically addresses their personal needs. Sometimes it helps when you specifically reiterate to them how you know it will affect them and ways to overcome it.
- Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee