While there were some really great pillars for success in our business, I knew that some friction would inevitably occur when I approached my parents about making some changes. Most of my ideas required additional funding to implement – more staff, better technology, a change in where we operated the business. Understandably, my parents did not want to compromise their retirement with unnecessary spending. So, I had to convince them that these investments would ultimately pay off.
Additional staff to provide service to our clients would allow me to focus more on selling, technology would allow for a better client experience whilst reducing risk of lawsuits, and a change in location would create a more professional environment than the extra bedroom that was acting as the business location.
Ultimately, I was able to convince my parents, but it was far from easy.
This is where things can get more complex in a family business. The wrong approach by the second generation can impact interpersonal relationships, causing everything to come to a complete standstill. First generations that don’t accept that growing and evolving the business is necessary can reduce the value of the business.
None of this is done intentionally; in my case I now realize that I pushed too hard at times – likely a combination of youthful exuberance, lack of experience, and my tendency towards action.
Over the years, I learned that there is an art and a science to intentional disruption in family business.
If you are a next generation family business owner and would like to connect with me about how to effectively approach intentional disruption, you can do so here – https://keap.app/contact-us/8454297783092184