A Game Plan for Success in the Family Business

I am a huge college football fan.  This past week of bowl games and the upcoming national championship are a football feast.  I love watching well coached teams come out and execute a well conceived game plan. It's like watching a masterpiece being painted before your eyes.While a family farm or other family business presents unique challenges, running a family business is really no different than coaching a successful football team. To be successful requires in the first instance a great game plan.  In putting together the game plan for your family farm or business, consider incorporating some of the following suggestions:1. Whether it is an LLC, Corporation or another type of entity, establish the proper legal structure for your business from the outset.2. Clearly establish in writing the duties and responsibilities that family members hold in the business.3. Allow family members to serve in a variety of roles in the business giving them a broader view of the operation.4. Clearly establish in writing the policies and procedures the family business intends to follow.5. Review the financial performance of the business regularly with participating family members.6. Establish a process for dispute resolution among family members.7. Establish a succession plan.8. Treat each other with respect.You have likely set several goals for your business in 2014.  If you haven't done so yet, resolve now to create a winning game plan for your family business."Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan." - Tom Landry