5 Reasons Why Every Family Business Should Use EOS
By Kyle Danner
Running a business takes a lot of honest hard work. But when you add family into the mix, things get even more complicated.
You still have bills to pay, customers to please, and a team to support. But now you have to try to balance work life and family life, ensure relatives and legacy employees work together in harmony, and somehow create a legacy to support your family for years to come. That’s a lot for any one person to handle.
So, to keep their heads above water, most family business owners focus on survival. There’s no organizational chart, no company vision, and no clear structure in place. Everyone does everything regardless of skill or desire. The only number anyone is watching is total sales versus total expenses.
Considering this, it’s no surprise that only 30% of family businesses make it to the next generation.
If you’re lucky, your business will be able to squeeze by and survive another few years. But after that, it’s all up to chance. What if the other guys have a better system? What if you lose your best employees? What if the economy crashes and prices skyrocket?
The future will always be full of what-ifs, but your business shouldn’t be left up to chance. You can take steps to keep your business around for your kids and your grandchildren and even your great-grandchildren.
And the most important step you can take is implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS).
What is EOS & How Can It Keep Your Business Running Longer?
In life, there are a lot of things you can’t control. What you can control is the way you run your business. It is your business, after all.
Just think about it. The way you do your day-to-day operations can make the difference between shutting your doors and leaving a lasting legacy. If your business has a solid foundation for growth, it will be better prepared to withstand whatever the future throws your way. That’s the idea behind EOS.
EOS is a set of simple concepts and practical tools that family businesses can use to gain traction. Basically, it provides you with a game plan so you can feel confident knowing you’re prepared for what’s next.
EOS is based on resolving the top six pain points businesses face:
- An unclear vision
- An unengaged team
- Looking at the wrong metrics
- Unaddressed issues
- Weak processes
- A lack of accountability
To do this, businesses need to get everyone 100% on the same page, put the right people in the right seats, review the right numbers, solve issues permanently, systemize its core processes, and gain traction through instilling discipline and accountability. EOS is a step-by-step roadmap you can use to achieve each of these goals.
The 5 Biggest Benefits of EOS for Family Businesses
What’s the biggest difference between a local pharmacy and a big-name company like Walgreens? Is it advertising? Well, that might play a role in their success. But the real factor that separates businesses that thrive from those that don’t is organization.
These successful national brands have a clear system in place, and they practice that system in every single store. This creates cohesion, and it gives them a proven blueprint they can use to open up new franchises.
Many family businesses don’t have a system of any kind, but EOS changes that. EOS helps you systemize your core processes so the most important work is done the right and best way every time. It also helps you identify roles more clearly so you can simplify the hiring process and focus on building the right team.
If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s going to be almost impossible to get there. We all understand this. So why do so many businesses not have clear vision statements? Maybe it’s because we often think of visions as sappy, over-the-top, pie-in-the-sky dreams that don’t apply to our real jobs.
But here’s the problem with not having a company vision. Even if you don’t have a vision written down, everyone already has an idea of the company vision in their heads. And when these visions don’t line up, it can lead to problems.
For example, Mom and Dad might see the business’s future as staying local, providing great customer service to the community that helped them raise their family. But maybe the next generation thinks the business should expand. Maybe they see more shops opening up in bigger cities, servicing entirely new markets.
Everyone is working their hardest to make their vision of the business a reality, but these visions can’t coexist. So instead of heading toward a clear destination, everyone rows in different directions — and the business doesn’t move at all.
Part of EOS involves developing a crystal clear vision statement and revisiting this vision on a regular basis. That way, everyone understands where the business is heading, and they can do their part to help the business get there.
A big problem family businesses face is motivation — not from the founder or the leadership team but from the rest of the family. To make ends meet, you probably recruited family members to help out. You know you can trust your family, and they’ll work for less than other employees.
Now that the business is on steady ground, everyone stays on because it’s easy and cheap and it’s what they know. They aren’t working in the business because it’s their passion or in line with their goals. They do it because it’s convenient.
While these employees might have kept your business afloat during a very difficult time, now, they’re creating a culture of complacency. And that can affect new hires, the company atmosphere, and even the growth of your business.
EOS helps you put the right people in the right seats. You’ll learn your employees' goals and their strengths so you can help them find the role where they’ll be happiest.
Think about your hardest-working employee: that one person who really loves their job. Now imagine what your business would look like if everyone had their passion and drive. When your team members understand their role in the business and enjoy doing it, they’ll help create a culture of collaboration that everyone can benefit from.
4. Problem Solving
When you combine family and business, you’re bound to run into problems. And those problems, more often than not, are messy and emotional and uncomfortable.
So most family businesses ignore these problems, hoping they’ll go away on their own. Of course, that doesn’t usually happen. Instead, the issues get worse, resentment grows, and little things lead to major blowouts.
We all know we need to address the elephant in the family business, but the how is the hard part. Sometimes, we don’t even know what the problem really is. All we know is that cousin Sue is upset with cousin Jim, Mom feels out of the loop, and Dad wants to cut costs and sell the business altogether.
One of the best parts of EOS is the way it helps family businesses uncover the true cause of problems. It does this by providing everyone with an in-depth look at how the business is performing and where it’s falling short. And that can reveal issues you might not have even been aware of.
- Maybe the issue between the cousins lies in the fact that cousin Jim isn’t a good fit for his job. He’s not bought into the company culture, and cousin Sue (who does love her job) is frustrated with his poor quality of work.
- Maybe the reason Mom feels left out is because of poor communication between the leadership team and the staff. The staff might not realize that Mom and Dad run the business together, and both parties should be included in the conversation.
- Maybe Dad wants to sell because he doesn’t know about all the business’s success. He’s only looking at the money going out, but if he could see how many great leads the sales team is bringing in, he might change his mind about selling the business.
When you discover the cause of these problems, you can take the right steps to solve them and you can prevent more problems from happening in the future.
The biggest benefit of upgrading to EOS is clarity. In the family business, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have a handle on things. You only see the work you do every day. Everything that happens outside of your office, on the other hand? You just hope for the best.
This is where EOS provides so much value for family businesses. EOS helps take the mystery out of:
- Where the company is headed
- What’s expected of everyone
- What numbers really matter
- What the real issues are
- And how to establish a rhythm
You’re more aware of what’s happening in your business and how well your business is really performing. As a result, you can achieve peace of mind — and so can the rest of the family.
Implement EOS without the Stress
Any time we hear about a new system, strategy, or process, we automatically think “way too complicated.” Change can be scary, and you somehow have to get the whole team on board.
But switching to EOS doesn’t have to be overwhelming or a hassle. The right implementor can guide you through the process, help you understand how to make the system work for you, and set your business and the family up for success.
As an EOS Implementer, my ultimate goal is to help you get to the point where you can run EOS on your own. The process is simple, takes only 90 days, and gets your leaders 100% on the same page. And I’ll provide you with additional resources you can use to learn more.
Your business doesn’t have to be one of the 60% that fail. With EOS, you can gain a solid foundation, a clear direction, and a growth-oriented culture. That way, your business will be around for generations to come.
Schedule a meeting now, and let’s get started.