How to avoid family conflict over wages

How to avoid family conflict over wages

How to avoid family conflict over wages

Measures to prevent local family business members falling out over wages and putting the enterprise at risk have been put forward by a specialist in the sector.

Family firms account for three quarters of the Sheffield region’s businesses but are vulnerable to family conflict when it comes to fixing a fair salaries system, says Richard Frost, managing partner of Sheffield-based independent chartered accountants and business advisers Hawsons, of Glossop Road.

He says: “The difficulty is that business values and family values sometimes become mixed up, leading to a range of problems. If, for example, all family members are paid the same, some might become disgruntled and feel they are worth more because of their expertise. He or she may then leave, meaning the business loses his or her skills and is left with other members who may be overpaid and over promoted.”

Problems could also arise, he warns, over what the younger generation think about having to finance retired family members who may feel entitled to support in retirement because of their years of devotion to the company.

Richard, one of the first in the country to be awarded a postgraduate certificate in family business advice through the International Centre for Families in Business, recognises that deciding on an appropriate remuneration plan is not easy but says that, with careful thought, clear communication and open discussion, conflict over wages can be avoided so that all accept they are paid fairly.

One way forward, he suggests, would be to determine the family member’s role and then pay the market rate if he or she had to be replaced. There may also have to be adjustments for particular leadership skills.

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Recession a good time to start new business ventures

Recession a good time to start new business ventures

Recession a good time to start new business ventures 

Although the recession is still biting, with many companies in real difficulty, this could still be a good time to launch a new business venture, a start-up specialist said today.

Ian Bryan, Business Development Services manager of Sheffield-based independent chartered accountants and specialist business advisers Hawsons, thinks that anyone with a good idea shouldn’t be put off going ahead because it is possible for them to turn the current economic conditions to their advantage.

He added: “It doesn’t seem at all logical but some of the most successful enterprises have been started in hard financial times.”

He lists several reasons why new start-ups could do well if the idea is right:

    Talented staff are more likely to be available because of redundancies and failing businesses; During a recession, prices sometimes drop and office and shop space is cheaper. Reduced prices on components and office supplies may also be available; Customers search for value during bad times and, if a new venture gives them a good customer experience, they are likely to remember it and give you their business when the economy starts picking up; Businesses that start in a recession and survive usually know how to keep costs to a minimum, standing them in good stead in better times.

Ian added: “But it still needs a lot of courage to start a new business in times like this and you should only go ahead if it feels right for you and you are confident that your idea is a good and sound one.”

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Ian Bryan

Ian Bryan heads up the firm's Business Services Department, which is dedicated to helping the smaller business. Ian acts for a wide range of sole traders, partnerships, and limited companies providing accounting and tax advice and practical business solutions. For more details and advice, please contact Ian on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

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