Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Pro's & Con's of Hiring Family Members

Some small business owners and entrepreneurs find it easier to hire family instead of outside help, until they find out that working with family is one of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make.

I find this topic very interested because I’ve been approached many times from people seeking my services and when I ask them who is handling their services now or why they are seeking assistance, they explain to me that they hired a family member or a good family friend.

Not that hiring family members or a good family friend is a bad idea; there are some positive things about hiring family:

ONE: If you are just starting your business and can’t afford to hire an outside employee, family members are more understanding whereas they would work for less money which will help your business grow.

TWO:  Involving your children or young adult family members in your business can teach lesson of responsibility while allowing you to focus on other aspects of the business.

THREE: You are more familiar with your family weaknesses and strengths than someone you don’t know.

With that said, hiring family members or a close family friend can have a negative effect on your business as well. Here are a few stories I’ve been told as to why hiring family members or a close family friend(s) is not a good idea:
  • If you work with your spouse, too much time could be spent together and cause havoc in the relationship.
  • Because they are family or a good family friend, they feel as though they don’t need to take their job duties seriously.
  • If you have other staff members (not family) you run the risk of causing resentment or giving the impression of favoritism.
  • It’s uncomfortable to fire a family member or a good family friend from the business.
  • Family members bring family issues to work which can create tension in the work place.
To sum it up, hiring family members is like living with your family, sometimes you get along and sometimes you don’t.

Do you find it better to hire family members or a good family friend versus hiring outside staff?  If so, we’d love for you to share some tips on how it works out for you or doesn’t!

Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa specializes in financial management and small business management consulting.
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