As a small business owner, hiring friends and family – on a paid or voluntary basis – to help out can be the perfect solution to your small business’s growth and development problems.
But, it can come at a price and it’s therefore important that if you do decide to go down this route, you are aware of both the potential pitfalls and what you really need to do, something the following three points should help you better understand.
1. Get something in writing
If your friend says to you they’ll come down to your store and help out for a few hours at no cost, make sure this is put down in writing.
Should a relative explain they’ll work for you, three mornings a week for x amount of money, if you agree, be certain you have something written down.
It may seem drastic, but it’s the only way you can be certain that both parties are clear about what’s to take place and that no legal issues could arise in the future – friends and relatives are the people who are closest to you, but relationships have been broken by lesser things than poor business arrangements.
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2. You need to have two separate relationships
Working with your friends and family isn’t easy and further to having something in writing that defines what’s going to take place, you need to have two separate relationships – your normal, personal relationship and your working relationship.
The two can crossover, as they so often do in business, but your friend or relative needs to be aware that you’re going to be asking them to do things on a regular basis – and arguably more importantly, you need to feel comfortable telling them what to do.
3. Understand it can take its strain on your relationship
Working together can cement a relationship and make it stronger than ever – but it can also ruin it.
Yes, hiring your friends and family can benefit your small business tremendously and very often get you out of a hole, but conversely, it can put a lot of strain on your relationship.
If you’re certain you can both work together, that’s fine and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a successful partnership. However, if at any point you have any doubt, you need to reevaluate the situation and make sure you move forward in the way that is of benefit to both your small business and your relationship.
When your business is going through a stage of development, it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. Hiring your friends and family to help you out can be the perfect solution for some, but for others it can only hinder their development and it’s therefore absolutely imperative that you truly think through the entire scenario before you make any decisions as to whether you should hire a friend or relative to help with your small business.