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5 Pros and Cons of Working With Family Members

Explore the rich rewards and serious risks of starting a business with your spouse or joining a family business.

Have you ever thought about getting a business degree and using your leadership skills to work in a family business or start a business with your spouse or relatives? You’re not alone. According to SCORE, of the 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S., 19% are family-owned.1 Family businesses range from two-person startups to Fortune 500 corporations.

Before starting or joining a family business, it’s important to consider the pros and cons. There are rich rewards to creating a family business or working for a family business, but there are also serious risks. Here are some pros and cons of working with family members:

The Upsides of Working With Family Members

  • You can probably expect job security. Barring extreme circumstances, it’s unlikely that a family member will fire you or lay you off.
  • The hiring process will be streamlined. If you’re hiring or being hired by a family member, there should be no need to conduct multiple interviews or check references.
  • You might enjoy a flexible work environment. In a family business, you may be able to occasionally come to work late or leave early. A corporate job might not offer the same flexibility.
  • You’ll work with people you trust. When you work with family, you have intimate knowledge of one another and instant camaraderie. Hopefully you enjoy one another’s company!
  • You can make memories with your family. Most people spend much of their day away from their family members, working. If you work with your relatives, you’ll spend time together while also earning income.

The Downsides of Working With Family Members

  • Your career growth may suffer. A family business may lack opportunities for promotion that can enhance your career, when compared to a corporate job.
  • You may have to fire a family member. If a family member misses work or does a poor job, you’ll have to take action, which may be uncomfortable.
  • You might not be able to take a family vacation. If your co-workers are your family members, traveling together would mean leaving the business unattended.
  • Business disputes can become personal. An argument at home can continue in the workplace, and a business disagreement can cause tension at home.
  • Ultimately, most family businesses don’t stay in the family. After 60 years, only 13% of family businesses are still in the family. The majority (70%) don’t survive the transition after a parent passes down the business to the next generation.1

Whether you start a business or join a business, it’s important to be prepared. A business administration degree from an accredited university can help prepare you to become an entrepreneur or a valued team member in a family business. And earning your business degree online allows you to generate income while you learn.

A bachelor of science in business administration, also known as a BSBA, is an excellent starting point for business-oriented learners. Walden University offers an online BS in Business Administration program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The online degree program features a competitive, team-based business simulation exercise for the capstone project that immerses the student in a realistic business challenge.

If you already have a BSBA or a bachelor’s degree in any subject, consider pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Walden offers a One-Year Fast-Track MBA option that can allow you to earn your master’s degree online in as few as 12 months.2 Walden’s online MBA program is ACBSP-accredited, just as its online BSBA program is.

When you earn a BSBA or an MBA online, you can choose from two learning formats: course-based or competency-based. The course-based format is ideal for students who prefer a traditional, instructor-led approach. For students who want to have more control over the pacing of their studies, the competency-based degree format may be a good fit.

Business success requires a foundation of knowledge, in addition to perseverance. When you earn your business degree online, you can immediately apply your education to your business.

Walden is an accredited university offering BS in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

2Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities or health issues, leaves of absence, or other personal circumstances.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,