Posted by: Bryan McArdle | January 11, 2010

GenY Entrepreneur: Family Issues

I went into business with my brother and my father. It wasn’t really a strategic  or a financial move but more of a guilty feeling of not embarking on something together. There have been times where we have gotten into some pretty heated arguments over what direction we wanted to take the business. What was worse was that this spilled over into our personal relationship and we found ourselves quiet during dinner while we festered over our grievances. My advice to everyone is to leave the family out of it. If you need them for financial support have them understand that their involement is only financial and they are not buying a seat as a manager. The success of the company will be determined by your decisions and yours alone.  

George Cloutier: The Turnaround Ace Comments in his blog post on about the pitfalls of doing business with family. “The best family business has one member. Face it, blood and business don’t mix. Profits will always be better when you’re not keeping an extra sibling, spouse, child or in-law on the payroll. More than 60 percent of the small businesses we work with are family owned, and that’s where most of their problems start. Fire ’em! Cancel your kid’s membership to the lucky sperm club. Keep your family squabbles at home, even if you have to pay relatives not to be there. Then change the locks on the office door. You’ll save money in the end.”

I can relate with the pay them to stay at home idea. At times I wish I could just tell my family to go home and we’ll send you your percentage of the profits, you don’t have to lift a finger, just get out of our way and our hair. But sometimes you can’t do this, you are tied together and any thought of pushing someone out is grounds for excommunication from the family. Remember this, if the business is to succeed you must take care of your customers and run an efficient and effective business. If family is getting in the way of this the business will suffer and in the end you will all suffer. So choose wisely, if you don’t need them, ask them nicely to only give you support.



  1. Great blog on family and business…and overall great wordpress space…I am starting a few businesses and looking forward to when you get the business sites done so you can get back on it.

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