Working with family can be a difficult experience. It can be hard to separate the employee/co-worker from the person you love and care about. At the end of the day, it can be a challenge managing a convenience store while trying to work efficiently alongside family members.
It’s not easy when everyone involved has a vested interest in the business, and multiple stakeholders means multiple views on how to run things. Running a convenience store under normal circumstances is a fast-paced, daily grind. When family is involved? Things can get tough.
It’s important to try and separate the business from the personal as much as possible. Still, a number of issues can arise when working with family. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Clearly Define Your Roles
Any business can benefit from clearly defining your roles in the workplace. With family members, it is especially true. Who is responsible for managing the inventory or tracking lottery sales? Do not assume that everyone will know exactly what their role is, or that you know best what their role should be.
Make sure everyone is on the same page with their responsibilities and expectations
Who is in charge? Even if most major decisions are family decisions, someone still needs to wear the boss’ hat.
Play to your strengths. By highlighting your strengths as individuals, you’ll have an easier time figuring out where you all fall together as a team. You will also have an easier time determining where you have blind spots; places there might be a lack of knowledge, know-how, or merely just a differing opinion.
Have regular meetings with your family and reinforce these roles and responsibilities. This is a great opportunity to discuss new business, review past reports, and plan for the future.
When Family Are Employees
Of course not all family members will be part-owners. Running a family business can sometimes mean employing family members as well. It can be hard enough managing a convenience store, but when your employees are related to you things can get challenging. A few tips to keep you on the right track:
Don’t Award Special Treatment: Unless your employees are 100% family, it is important not to send the message that you are playing favorites. If you create two classes of employees, the non-family members among them will grow to resent the ones who are. It is important to treat everyone equally.
Set a Good Example: it is always important for the owner or manager to lead by example. With a family member, this can be even more true. Remember, this person has a relationship with you outside of the store. They may not have any experience with you in a professional setting. Lead by example and demonstrate the level of responsibility and professionalism you expect
Communicate Openly: Communication is the key to many a successful working relationship. With family members, it can be awkward to broach certain subjects, especially if it’s related to poor job performance. Don’t shy away from the conversation. Instead, tackle it head on and use it as a learning opportunity. Use your sales reports to discuss the individual performance and what areas you’d like to see improvement in. Revisit those reports in a month and track progression. Sometimes a visual representation really helps.
But Remember To Take Time To Be a Family
Working with family can be a trying experience. Throughout it all, it is important to remember that you are a family first, and business partners or co-workers second. Sometimes it’s important to take time away from managing a convenience store, and manage your family for a while.
Want to learn how CStorePro can help you manage your family business? today.