Running a family business can take a lot of work, but when you've got the support of your loved ones, the reward at the end of a long day is totally worth it. Ultimately, one of the biggest challenges you may ever face is trying to engage the next generation to love your business as much as you do.
Related Blog: 5 Ways to Get Your Family Business Ready for Your Kids
Embrace Your Kids' Special Skills.
No two people are exactly the same. When it comes to your family business, you can reap huge benefits when you embrace your kids' differences and allow them to own their unique talents and individual interests. When you find a way for your kids to fit in doing something they enjoy doing, it won't feel like work as they're learning the ropes. No matter what your company does, there are core basic business functions involved. If your child enjoys art, explore marketing possibilities. If he or she is numbers-oriented, hit the books. Everything else will come easier if you involve the younger generation in the parts of the family business they enjoy first. Their fresh eyes could offer great ways to grow the business that you hadn't even considered, too. Technology is second nature for kids today, with the popularity of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the internet in general being the way they get most of their information. All of these things are key factors in growing a business today, and your kids already know how to use these things!
If you want the next generation of leaders to be excited about what you do, include them on the conversations and decisions. That's not to say that you should let your 13-year-old run your company's world, but kids and young adults respond much more positively when you treat them like adults. Show them you appreciate their feedback, and, in turn, they're likely to give you all they've got. Include them in conversations about marketing so they become familiar with common terms and ideas and how the process works.
Don't Discount their Ideas.
In today's world of high-end cyber real estate, some of the youngest members of your family may have the brightest ideas because they're growing up in a world where constant communication and ever-evolving technology is just part of everyday life. Embrace their social media skills, procure creativity on bold new frontiers, and allow them to question your status quo. If something seems hard to them, it's probably because there's a better way to do it!
Remember, the next generation lives in a world where the extraordinary is ordinary. Embrace their curiosity and invite them to be excited.
Have you faced this issue yourself? Comment below and let us know your thoughts on getting the next generation's leaders excited about their role in the family business!