Can we learn to run a family business from our favourite TV shows?

Can we learn to run a family business from our favourite TV shows?

TV shows have a way of helping us see things from a different perspective. Whether it’s a relationship or our career, there’s something about having an outsider’s view that helps us to understand a situation a whole lot more clearly .

We’ve seen the subject of family businesses pop up a number of times on our TV screens and as viewers, we love to watch the ups and downs of someone trying to build an empire.

Chartered accountants, Alexander & Co, wanted to take a closer look at these on-screen businesses and see if there’s anything aspiring business owners could learn from them.

Understanding the importance of communication :

How many times have you switched on Peaky Blinders or The Sopranos, only to be greeted with an argument between family members?

Communication is the single biggest factor within any business, but it’s especially important when dealing with close family members. It can be too easy to work in an informal environment when you are working with your family. This may make for a fun and comfortable working atmosphere, but it can also cause issues further down the line.

Figuring out how to talk to your family regarding business matters should be a number one priority. Communication not only ensures the business keeps ticking over smoothly, but it also creates a much stronger working relationship with your family/colleagues.

Allocating job roles and establishing boundaries : 

Another pressure point can be the hierarchy of a business. Confusion over job roles and responsibilities can cause tension.

Make sure to establish clear boundaries between what is expected of everyone in the family business. Assigning clear job roles and making sure everyone knows what level of authority they have will help to keep everyone in the right lane and prevent disagreements.

It should be obvious to everyone involved in the business who makes the big decisions and who is in charge of all of the key areas of the business.

What can we learn from TV family businesses? : 

When looking at our favourite family businesses, the most common issues are the following:

  • Communication – Arguments and fights are a regular occurance
  • Finances – Who handles the money and what investments to make always seem to be big issues in these family businesses
  • Business Growth – Differing visions for the business and its business plan
  • Honesty and Authenticity – Being transparent with your business partners is key to a strong and healthy business

If you’re looking to join your family business or even start one of your own, make sure you have all of the above points ticked off. Not only will it mean that your business will grow in a healthy and sustainable way, but it’ll also be less stressful for you and your business partners.

run a family business
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