If you’re an entrepreneur, maybe your plan is to build up your business as much as possible and then sell it someday when it reaches a certain value. However, you might have different ideas. Maybe your dream is actually for it to become a family business, something that you pass on to your child. It’s impossible to predict what your child will want to do with their life, but the tips below can help you bring them into the business and grow it together over the years ahead.
To get your child more involved in building a family business and how to sustain it, include them even when they are young. Talk to them about what you do and why. Bring them into the office with you to see how you work. Hire them to work there over the summer when they are old enough. This can help them start to feel ownership in the company early on.
Give Them a Hand
The solid foundation that a college education offers can help prepare your child to take over from you someday. Even if you are in a field that does not require a college degree and you do not have one yourself, your child can take classes in areas such as marketing, management, entrepreneurship and accounting that can provide them with specialized knowledge they can bring back and help the business grow. College can be costly, but you can cosign on private student loans to help with the approval process. This is often necessary since rising freshmen usually do not have a credit score that would allow them to be approved on their own.
Invite Their Input
If this is going to be your family business, you’ll need to focus on the “family” part of that phrase and not the “your” part. In other words, make sure that you explain to them why you do things the way they do and then listen to what they have to say. You don’t have to adopt their suggestions, and since you’ve got a lot more experience than they do, you will probably have good reasons not to in some situations. However, by cultivating an atmosphere of mutual respect, you will make them feel more like a partner.
Work together as a team as you plan how you will expand the business. You can start this when they are young, long before they are old enough to be an actual employee, chatting with them about what you hope to do in the future. Eventually, you may want them to run their own branch of the company. You can also work together on developing a succession plan, which can help prepare them to take over someday but can also leave the company better primed for growth. This plan can be a kind of blueprint because one of the elements of a succession plan is creating systems that allow you to step back and let others take over. This can make expansion more feasible if you don’t have to be hands-on.