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The Problems With Hiring Friends And Family

Aug 1, 2008
It often seems like a good idea to bring a friend or family member into your business. You've known each other for years and believe that you can rely on them. But being friends with someone or being related to them doesn't mean they will make a good employee. And as is often the case they could bring with them more problems than they solve. So here are a few things to consider.

The first is you need to ask yourself what will happen if something goes wrong. It might be that things just don't work out and you need to let them go. How will they take being fired by a friend or family member? Will it damage your relationship temporarily or permanently if at all? Some people deal better with such situations than others. So before you consider hiring them you need to talk to them first and see how they would feel if such a situation were to occur.

Many times when a business owner hires a friend or family member existing employees may not like it. It does depend on what kind of position the person receives but there can be a feeling of resentment. Some employees may feel like they are being overlooked if your friend or family member receives a higher position or more pay than they do. You may find that you need to justify hiring them at least privately to your employees. You have to be able to show them that the person is qualified and that the business will benefit from the hiring.

You also need to make sure that your friend or family member understands that you cannot play favorites between them and your other employees. If you do you may see other key employees walking out on you because they don't want to work in such an environment. You can easily do irreparable harm to your business and your reputation with your employees.

Also you need to ask yourself how you might feel if your friend or family member causes permanent damage to your business. It can happen. They might do something to cost you a customer. Maybe they do something that costs the company money to repair or replace. How will you feel when it comes time to deal with these things? Have you ever tried to fire a friend? What if you had to fire your own sister because she was abusing her position? Can you handle that knowing that there may be a rift between the two of you for years to come?

These kinds of things do happen and by asking yourself whether you can handle the potential outcome will help you decide whether hiring a friend or family member is such a good idea. Many of the most successful businesses have been built by friends and members of the same family. So it can work out very well. But sometimes it doesn't and then there will be consequences. Just make sure you've considered what they might be.
About the Author
Cash Miller is an experienced entrepreneur and speaker who has spent over a decade as a small business owner. His years of experience in small business cover a variety of topics. If you are looking for more small business help please check out http://www.smallbusinessdelivered.com
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