Darren Stanley of Land of Rugs takes us through how incorporating core family values into business can help improve both the professional and personal relationship you have with your loved ones, as well as allow your enterprise to thrive.
In some ways, a business is very similar to a family. Both have key members that are essential to the running and ongoing success of the operation, but each individual member also plays their own valuable part in proceedings. While you all have your own roles, you recognise that there is a clear set of values you operate with, and this is what keeps the train on the tracks. It is important to have a mutual understanding of what you are working towards as a family, and as a business.
Implementing a clear set of values into your business can help to engineer a more productive, more enjoyable work environment. Ensuring there is a core set of ethical principles at the centre of your organisation will translate to the work that is produced, and the quality of customer service that your business offers.
Work hard, play hard
I’ve always felt that it is important to clearly separate family and business time, just as you would when working a normal job. This allows everyone to stay refreshed and not feel burdened by the stresses of work when they are supposed to be relaxing or blowing off steam. At the same time, sometimes discussing work in evening hours is inevitable, and creative ideas can actually flow a lot more naturally if you’re in a laid-back setting.
Make sure that your family regularly socialises outside of work. Your entire relationship should not be centred around the business, so take steps to ensure that the board room is not the only time you sit across the table from each other. Your business will only work if you all continue to have healthy personal relationships with each other, as confusion or frustration will only serve to hinder the quality of work your business produces.
Learn from each other
At some point, you may look to bring other members of your family into the business as well. If you have children, you may have considered whether they wish to enter the family business or go their own way. My partner and I have always encouraged our children to follow what they think will give them the most satisfaction, but they are of course welcome to join the business. It is important to encourage family members only to join the business if they have a passion for it, and if they have a work ethic and attitude that reflects the standards of the business.
Of course, you should also recognise that you can learn a lot from family members who are new to the business. If you have children, you will have already discovered how much you can learn from a fresh mind, and your business is no exception. Always listen to the ideas of your family members, even if they are inexperienced, as they could potentially offer a new take on a subject that you had been overlooking. Even if their idea isn’t great, they will at least feel valued as an individual; this will encourage them to work more efficiently.
The most important value that you should work towards, as a family and a business, is respect. Respecting each other both as individuals and as workers can only have a positive impact on how you operate as a unit.