A lot of ugly family business breakups could be filed under the “Seemed like a good idea at the time…” heading. As Sam Wyly advised in his book, $1000 and an Idea, when the time came to choose a partner for his business, he chose the man he trusted most – his brother. That partnership worked. To be fair, there are plenty of family-owned businesses that have been very successful.
The great caution that needs to be exercised when even considering getting into business with family, though, is that a lot of things can go wrong, with long-term, deep-rooted emotional consequences. As Malcolm Berko said in a recent column,
Family members are the worst people in the world with whom to do business. So if you cherish your family, you must engrave the above sentence on the forefront of your mind and etch it on the cover of your checkbook.”
The quote by itself is worth considering, but if you’re still not convinced, you should read the whole article, which is compellingly titled “Home Loan to Brother-in-Law,” here.
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford