Business rules still apply regardless if it is a family owned business or otherwise. The unique challenges for the family that owns the business is perceived differentiation between inner circle (Immediate or nucleus family) and the outer circle (extended family members).
This is a difficult perception to control and keep in check with any degree of consistency.
Add the third ingredient into the mix and you have the makings of a real pressure cooker – this would be what I call the ‘fringe’ – those professional employees who occupy the periphery of the outer circle – non-family staff and management who make up the rest of the workforce.
The solution is to remove every nuance of personal or personality based decision making/problem solving from the operational environment and replace it with process or issue based decision making.
Replace “that’s the way our family has always done it’ with robust processes that are documented and kept current, and that truly demonstrate process ownership, control, input/output, process flow to end users with relevant customer requirement/supplier specifications architected into the process design.
That is the only way to take a ‘family owned and operated business’ into a true, inclusive family business where the family comprises the nucleus family, plus the professional hires (Staff, Management & leadership as the case may be).