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10 Pitfalls of Starting a Family Business

5

Sharing Power

A power struggle between a woman and her mother-in-law is all kinds of ugly.
A power struggle between a woman and her mother-in-law is all kinds of ugly.
B2M Productions/Getty Images

Dividing up authority (and financial responsibility) may be a noble idea on paper, but a lot of people find that it's not the most efficient way to run a company. While there are times when equality is the best way to go, newly minted family business owners fail to keep in mind that relatives are already bringing in a preset power dynamic to work. That doesn't just shut down during the workday. Power struggles can affect not only day-to-day activities, but also result in massive amounts of energy wasted on long-term competition for authority positions. It's not exactly democratic, but an uneven distribution of executive power at least lets everybody know where they stand.

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