A Guide to Running a Thriving Family-Owned Construction Business
Running a family-owned construction business can be a rewarding endeavor with a combined sense of tradition, teamwork, and shared goals. However, it also comes with a unique set of challenges due to the more personal relationships and different boundaries.
Sep 1, 2023
Running a family-owned construction business can be a rewarding endeavor with a combined sense of tradition, teamwork, and shared goals. However, it also comes with a unique set of challenges due to the more personal relationships and different boundaries. Family-run businesses can be far from perfect, so in this blog we'll explore a few strategies to help you navigate the potentially rocky, yet rewarding endeavor of running a family business.
Identify Your Goals and Vision
Begin by defining a clear set of goals and a shared vision for your construction business. Schedule a [family] business meeting with everyone involved and ask the following questions:
What are our long-term goals?
What values do we want to uphold?
What are the standards everyone must uphold regardless of relationship?
Who will be in charge of what department/role?
What does our company culture look like?
Having a well-defined and shared purpose provides a strong foundation that can help guide your decisions and actions.
Roles and Responsibilities
Clearly define roles and responsibilities for each family member and employee. Assign tasks based on individual strengths and expertise. This not only ensures efficient operations, it also minimizes the potential for any misunderstandings. When there is conflict in one particular area, for example in customer service - it will help to have a final decision-maker whose strength lies in customer experiences to solve the issues accordingly. When it comes to family, roles in your business may get blurred, so it helps to have very clearly defined roles to avoid any confusion and disagreements.
When family is involved, it’s easy to offer your son, cousin, or sister a promotion. Make sure to avoid favoritism in your business so that all employees can have an equal opportunity to climb the ladder. Create a list of policies that ALL employees must abide by (including you), and remember to reward them when they overachieve. This will show that you hold everyone to the same standards, and you may find that non-family employees will work just as hard (or even harder!) than your family members.
Running a family business can blur the lines between your work and personal life, especially if you’re living under the same roof. Encourage everyone in your construction business to maintain a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout and help to support strong family (and work) relationships. The huge benefit you have from running a family business is more control of your work-life balance; the harsh reality is - not many construction workers have this luxury. According to a study by the Montreal Gazette, approximately 45 percent of construction workers say their work has a negative influence on family life, as they also have a sick kid(s) or a sick and/or elderly family member to take care of.
Running a family-owned business, you have more control over your hours at work, so as long as you run it like a well-oiled machine (i.e. organized, the right number of employees, efficient systems), you’ll have the benefit of being able to spend more time with your family and have a better chance at a healthy work-life balance.
A Well-Oiled Machine
Running a successful family-owned construction business requires a blend of solidarity, teamwork, and dedication. By implementing these strategies – shared goals, clearly defined roles, avoiding favoritism in your workplace, and promoting work-life balance – you can build a legacy of success that transcends generations. Remember, a thriving family business is built on a solid foundation of shared values, mutual respect, and a commitment to excellence.
An organized business is an efficient business! Looking to organize your family construction business so that it’s running like a well-oiled machine? Try the FlumePay app for free to help organize your projects, people, and documents! You’ll also be able to save valuable time sending your estimates and invoices while on the go!