Family owned businesses form the foundation of the American workforce, representing 78% of new jobs created in the U.S. As a small business owner, you may be inclined to hire your family members to work alongside you and carry on your legacy after you retire. There are pros and cons to this setup, but overall, you can benefit from working with your family if you approach the hiring process correctly.
This guide explains how to hire family members for your small business.
Do Family Members Make Good Employees?
There is a certain level of loyalty that you cannot get from anyone but a family member. That is what makes some family owned businesses so much more successful than non-family businesses. With that in mind, family members may also take advantage of your pre-existing relationship. Assuming that they will be able to get away with more because they do not see you as an authority figure. You have to determine if your family is going to represent your small business in a good light. If not, you may be better off hiring a traditional employee.
Remember, The Pay Is The Same…
Do not assume that you can pay less in worker’s compensation, taxes, health insurance, etc. because you are working with family. The pay will still need to be the same as it would be with any other employee. You may be able to pay your teenage child some cash for the day if he just works passively to learn about the business, but once he becomes a part-time or full-time employee, he needs to be treated just like anyone else.
Don’t Just Hire Someone Because “They’re Family”
The easiest trap you can fall into as a business owner is hiring someone just because you’re related to him or her. If the person is not naturally a good worker, you may risk losing valuable customers because you allowed the wrong person to represent your company. Before you decide to bring a family member on board, make sure he or she has the motivation and enthusiasm you need to keep your business running strong.
Learn To Separate Work Life And Family Life
When you are on the job, you and your family member are colleagues, not relatives. You may still have a father/son bond or similar dynamic, but you need to maintain a high level of professionalism during work hours. From the beginning, your family member needs to know that this is an actual job, and that you will be treating them just like you would any other employee. Reserve your playfulness for times when you are not working.
Hiring family members for a small business certainly has its perks, especially when it comes to building your support system. If this is the right path for you, take time to work out an employer/employee relationship with your family member that will carry your business through the years.