Frank Andreoli Montreal businessman has been in partnership with his brother throughout his career and he will always say that their success has com from the fact that they kept the business in the family. Now many will tell you that it is not a good idea to go into business with family members, because there is always the potential for conflict and that of course could spill over into family life.
So how have the Andreoli’s managed to ensure that they have been able to maintain a great family relationship whilst still operating a number of highly successful businesses here in Montreal? Here is what Frank says is the key to doing what they have done.
Separation of Time
The most important thing to remember when you are working with family is that work time and family time are two completely different things. The ground rules should be set out very early, when the family is together there is absolutely no businesses talk. The moment that you begin to blur these lines is the moment that you begin to lose control of how to separate the family from the business, and that is a slippery slope.
Frank concedes that the first year in business was tough and that following a few heated discussions, his brother and he recognized the fact that there would have to be something f a separation of powers. They split up the responsibilities around the business and whilst they would still have a say on the business on the whole, they recognized where the boundaries were with regards to leadership. Too many cooks spoil the soup as they say, and this is something which can easily happen if you haven’t split up the roles within the business.
Map Money Early
Money is of course the key to any business and sadly it has the power to completely destroy families. It is for this reason that the proportioning of money should be decided from the very beginning. This could mean that someone is getting paid a salary or perhaps they will simply have a stake in the company and get paid dividends, whatever it is, it has to be arranged early on.
Bringing in a Neutral
In order to bring some balance to the situation it is a very smart idea to bring in someone who is not family, and give them a leadership role. They will be able to act as the counterweight between the family and they will also be able to offer better advice, which does’t come from an emotional place. It can be hard for family members to introduce someone like this, but it will be absolutely essential for the successful running of the business.
Working with family can certainly be done, but it is critical that rules are set in place and most importantly, that they are followed. Frank and his brother have proved just how successful you can be when you do work with family.