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Hiring Family: Should You Hire Relatives For Your Small Business?

As a small business, whether you’re in the early startup stage or you’re relatively established, it’s highly likely you’re going to feel you need more than one helping hand at times.

For several months, it’s almost guaranteed you try to get by just doing what you’re doing, working by yourself every hour sent.

There’ll come a point, however, when something needs to change.  You’ll either reach a point where you physically can’t do what’s required of you anymore because of time constraints or you’ll be at a plateau that you can’t get past – your business is ticking over, but you’re in a situation where you need to invest more time to ensure its growth, yet you don’t have the time available.

It’s here where you’ll start to consider hiring an employee – and for many, taking on a relative will so often be their first train of thought.

Completely understandable if it is, hiring a relative can be fantastic.  You’ll know the person inside out, understand their qualities and already have a good relationship in place with them.

They’ll make the perfect employee, right?

Well, potentially, yes – but hiring a relative could also prove to be particularly detrimental to both your small business’s growth and your relationship with them in general.

The reason behind this is there’s a huge difference between time spent going to the football with your brother at the weekend or shopping with your niece on an evening and working with them.  To all intents and purposes, if you decide to hire a relative, you need to think of them as a ‘normal’ person rather than someone who you’re related to – and this is where most people go wrong.

They don’t realise the difference between a personal relationship and a professional relationship.  They think that if they get on fantastically in the former, this will be the exact same case in the latter.

And in some instances, it will be.  But the reason it so often isn’t is because in your personal relationships, no one’s telling someone what to do or nothing’s really expected of one party.  It’s a really laid back, easy-going relationship, as it should be.

When you transfer this to a professional scenario, no matter how relaxed you think you may be as a small business owner and potential employer, hiring a relative – or in fact, anyone – is going to mean you expect something from them or need to ask them to do something – and if the relative doesn’t want to do it or feels uncomfortable in the situation, this is where problems are going to arise.

In many ways, hiring a relative for your small business can be a great idea, but without the right understanding of how it will work, it can also prove to have a negative effect on your business’s growth.  Only touching on the topic in this post, it would always be recommended to at least look at hiring a relative, but simply understand that you might have to take off your rose-tinted glasses when doing so.

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