Oh, I love “Seminarland!” That magical place you retreat to, for inspiration and re-commitment. Last week, I presented at Howard Partridge’s Phenomenal Dream Retreat in Destin, FL. Shauna went with me, too, which was fabulous because we just don’t get that much time together. It was…phenomenal! We benefited personally, as we worked on our business. It was great to participate as a presenter, too.
Here are my “Aha’s”…
1. Money changes everything. Just insert the word “money” into a conversation and watch the physical reactions. During my presentation – Keeping Track of the Money – we uncovered all kinds money issues. Lots of small business owners struggle with low cash flow and debt as a result of charging too little for too long. Many people have “having-ness” challenges, wondering if they are worth a pricing increase. And for lots of attendees, the financial reports are just…wrong. Not current. Not accurate. Certainly not understood. Which brings me to the next “Aha”…
2. The rock in the road is a family member. As I shared my steps for keeping track of the money, getting to K.F.P. (a Known Financial Position), I noticed the temperature and the tension in the room increasing. It is easy to clean up the accounting, get current, submit your tax return on time and keep score in business. Why isn’t this a given in every company? Usually because there is a family member in the way. Maybe they have some resistance to the task. Maybe they are burned out, or feel under-appreciated. Maybe they are just busy. Perhaps they don’t know how. If it were a non-family member, the owner (boss, cheese) would be more confrontational. “Let’s get this to done!” The personal relationships make the situation…sticky.
Kharry Cuffe of Inc. magazine recently wrotes about the challenges of running a family business However some the BEST businesses I know are family businesses! Lately, I have been running into lots of family business problems. So, here are a few more…Family Business Tips!
- Retreat! Go to “Seminarland” together and refine your vision, commitment, and update your business plan. Shared goals are vital if you are going to get over the bumps. BONUS: Sometimes the presenter or another attendee can say something you’ve been saying, but because it’s not you…it lands.
- Pay everyone. When I worked with Hot Rod, I dropped the martyr bit when I finally paid myself. Turns out that has been helpful for lots of folks.
- Clarify…who is in charge? There can only be one. Gulp.
- Set due dates…and agree to consequences. “OK, here’s what we agree to get done and by when. I’ll do this. You do this. We will meet each week to check progress. And here is the consequence if either of us doesn’t deliver.” The “in charge” (boss, cheese) can fire anyone, including a family member. If you get fired, it may be the best thing to happen to your family and the business. I vote that family comes first. You can always restructure the business.