Creative Ways to Grow Your Business: Family Involvement

After three generations of listening to “Cat’s in the Cradle,” stories of the over-worked, over-tired business owner, who grows his company but in the process ignores his family, are hopefully less common.

 

Today, hopefully even most borderline workaholics have a better sense of perspective in terms what’s important.

 

But if you compartmentalize too much – which means keeping your business and family matters entirely separate – you might miss opportunities that could benefit everyone involved.

 

Getting your loved ones involved in your business can be a key to its growth…and also to the long-term well being of your family.

 

Here are four points to consider:

Family Involvement Strategy #1: Hire Your Kids!

Notice, it says, “kids.” Hiring adult children is a different matter.

Having your under-18 offspring at the office, plant, or warehouse will not only give them a sense of what you’re doing when you’re not at home, but also allow you, as a parent, to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses and interests as you prepare them for leaving the nest.

There are tax benefits, too. Your minor (under 18) child’s wages are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes and federal unemployment tax.

To sweeten the deal, your child’s standard deduction means she can shelter up to $6,100 from federal income taxes. Not bad!

And it gets better. Your company can take a business write-off for wages paid to your child…and that might have been money you probably would otherwise have just given to him.

Remember to consult a qualified adviser on any and all tax matters pertaining to your company and to your personal tax situation.

Tip: If you’re able, don’t overload your minor child with any particular duties at first. Watch to see where she spends her time. On the shop floor? With the number-crunchers? Her natural inclinations might appear, and that can help you both later when she’s trying to decide on a school curriculum or career path

Family Involvement Strategy # 2: Network…but carefully

Heck, deals in corporate America used to be worked out on the golf course. Today, they’re just as likely to come out of a PTA meeting.

But be careful!

You don’t want to be that dad – or mom – jamming business cards into everyone’s hands at the Little League picnic.  But realistically, it’s only natural (and sometimes necessary) to ask other parents what they do, and for them to ask you in return.

If there’s a potential fit somewhere, it’s appropriate for you to make a polite phone call – at the end of the hockey season or school year, if you can wait – and ask for an introduction to a contact who might be interested in what you do.

And do unto others. Be proactive in helping out other parents when you can provide a contact.

Another idea: Show off your professional talents. Your construction company can volunteer to erect a stage for school plays, or your retail clothing shop can provide uniforms for t-ball teams. The exposure won’t always pay dividends immediately but, if your show a sincere commitment to the particular cause, people will remember you when they need what you can provide.

Family Involvement Strategy #3: Join!

Stay active in your kids’ activities. Join…coach…chaperone…volunteer. Raising your personal profile in the community can only enhance your prospects for expanding your business dealings.

Of course, you want to make sure you’re there for the right reasons. Other parents will be able to sniff-out a phony right away.

Besides, the “right reasons” will reward you in ways that don’t show up on your company’s income statement.

 

Tip: Run for, or volunteer for, a leadership position and offer to host a meeting at your office, if it’s conveniently located. This will provide your peers with a better picture of what your company does, and might even lead to a quick referral.

 

Family Involvement Strategy #4: Talk with Family about Succession Planning

 

Even your youngest children will take a more supportive role in your business endeavors when they understand that what’s good for your company is also good for the family.

 

That goes for now, and for the distant future.

 

Without verging into uncomfortable discussions, you can make it known to older children that there’s a possibility of them running your business one day. This allows you to gauge their interest.

 

If they are destined to do something else with their careers, so be it…but you still will have likely secured their support of your efforts to make the company succeed.

 

Discover more creative methods of business growth at MP Star Financial:

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MP Star Financial’s invoice factoring services can make your company’s cash flow more predictable, allowing you time to run your business and grow your company. Call MP Star Financial for more information about invoice factoring at (800) 833-3765, extension 150.

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