Working with family


Have you ever worked for a family owned business and you were not part of the family? This was my situation before starting my own business, Fulling Management and Accounting. The business had become a revolving door for the owner’s wife, mother, cousins, and so on. Each time a family member would leave, the business culture became more and more negative. Working with family can be difficult.

[column col="1/2"]You are likely familiar with the guys (and beards) from Duck Dynasty. Obviously, they are a sample of how family businesses can be extremely successful and beneficial for the family. However, in some cases, family businesses can bring blurred lines as it relates to management decisions. The added stress of family relationships in the work place can lead to decisions that would not otherwise be made.

Small business owners are forced to wear many hats and sometimes these hats can overlap and cause friction. Knowing what your role is at any given time is imperative, not only to the success of the business, but to the family unit as well.

One of my favorite stories of a family owned business was from a friend of mine named Joe. One morning Joe was working diligently at his home office to get an important report finished up. His wife, who served as his administrative assistant, walked into his office, sat down and started talking about the kids, laundry, honey do list, and all other home related items. Joe, in a frustrated tone, looked at his wife and said, “I am at the office and will be home at 5pm.” He promptly resumed his work. Obviously, working with family isn't always easy.

While they can laugh about the short conversation now, Joe and his wife learned an important lesson about identifying and respecting the hat being worn at the time. Knowing your role at any given time is imperative to business and family success.

[/column][column col="1/2"]


[message_box title="Need help creating a healthy balance in your family owned business?" ] Our business coaching services can help! Give me a call at (913) 254-7300 or email me at