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In this day and age owning your own business is no longer the things dreams are made of. With so many new avenues available to people to allow them to open their own business and become their own bosses it seems everyone and their dog has some kind of business in almost any genre of work. From table linen hire, executive and virtual assisting, ghostwriting to opening shops, restaurants, garages and other brick and mortar companies, finding staff can be a challenge. So what happens when you get friends and family to work for you, and how can you employ them without worrying about affecting your personal relationship with them? Here are a couple of tips to keep friend and family employment from wrecking your lives outside work.

Keep It Business

Keeping your relationship in the workplace strictly business is important to not just the benefit of your business but to your relationship as well. The last thing that either of you want is to venture into territory where you may need to let that person go because they aren’t pulling their weight due to their belief that “being in with the boss” will get them off the hook on things they need to smarten up with. Not only that, but keeping your relationship in the office/on the job strictly business will set a precedent and help you both find and develop working boundaries that will be of mutual respect and appropriate for working relationships.

Boundaries and Expectations

Speaking of boundaries, it’s important to set both boundaries and expectations on both of your parts so that you both understand what there is to be done, how to do it and how to work together professionally without jeopardising your relationship together. Knowing what the expectations of each person is in regard to your working relationship will help you both maintain professionalism when in the workplace so that you don’t venture into the territory where one person is unhappy with the other, thus putting the relationship in an awkward position.

No Hard Feelings

If something does happen in the sense that you have to let your friend or relative go, it’s important to maintain that there’s no hard feelings and that it’s nothing personal. After all, business is business and when you’re working for yourself it’s even more important that you make it work and sometimes that means needing to let people go if they aren’t performing – and sometimes even if they are, in the cases of perhaps not having the capital to continue employing them.

So if you’re running your own business and you’re considering employing someone you have a pre-existing relationship with, consider these tips for making sure you don’t open a can of relationship worms by doing so. Working with friends and family can be a great experience that can help broaden horizons and create an even better relationship, but only if you’re both able to navigate the potentially muddy waters of being mutually respectful when in the workplace together.

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