If you are an entrepreneurial couple with children, are you looking to grow into a family firm? If you want to include your children in the business, then there are a few vital things to keep in mind. There are two goals. One is to develop a thriving business. The second is to develop healthy independent adults who can contribute to society.
Most of us cherish the responsibility of parenting and are reluctant to give it up when the children leave home. In family firms where children may never leave the “nest” so to speak, the parenting role may continue indefinitely. How do you encourage independence for your child when they never really leave? There are a variety of strategies for ensuring that the second generation in family firms really grow up. The strategy that fits for you depends upon the business, the parents’ skills and personality and the skills and personalities of the children.
The child needs an environment where they must prove themselves capable of leadership in the family business. For some this means leaving the business for awhile and working elsewhere. For others, it means getting an education before returning to the family business. Another child may benefit by working their way up from the “mailroom” with no preferential treatment from the parents. Finally, some children will be better family members and more capable adults if they never return to the family business.
You must keep in mind that the business can be successful without the child and the child can be successful without the business. That is, set your sights on accomplishing both goals independent of each other, and you may be surprised how they come together in the long run. For more information, visit Entrepreneurial Life – Families in Business.