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Maintaining the Legacy of Your Small Business

Posted 28 July 2016 by Stacey Papp

When you’re a member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, you don’t really have a choice but to carry on the family business. Heck, oldest daughter Kourtney’s son Mason was even born on camera. Luckily, all the members — save poor beleaguered brother Rob — seem thrilled to continue the legacy of making tons of money from little more than looking pretty and pouting at each other on TV. Still, as crazy as their cash-earning methods may seem, there’s a lot that goes into protecting the Kardashian/Jenner brand.

If you run a family business, no doubt you’ve pondered what it will take to protect what previous generations have built. No one wants to be the dopey son responsible for frittering away Great Granddad’s pride and joy. (Or be the celebutante who goes one scandal beyond what the public is willing to stomach.) A few simple steps, however, can help save a lot of headaches.

Get other family members’ buy-in. No one likes to go it alone, especially with something as monumental as a small business. It truly takes a village, and if other relatives experience the same pride you do, the going will be much smoother. 

The key is to help them feel ownership, too. That doesn’t necessarily mean literal ownership, but rather emotional investment in the work. Assign projects that match their expertise, and then get out of their hair. They’ll feel good about their involvement and will likely be enthusiastic about contributing in the future.

Don’t be afraid to change things. Just because something has always been done one way doesn’t mean that the same strategy will always work. Times change and businesses must change with them to stay relevant. 

Once you have a fundamental knowledge of the business and its inner workings, consider what can make it even stronger. Perhaps that means adopting forward-looking technologies that will help you find new efficiencies. Maybe it’s getting on social media to promote your successes. Just because something isn’t broke doesn’t mean it can’t be improved, so keep yourself open to new ideas.

Have a plan for the future. Whether it’s when you retire or, heaven forbid, leave this earth, you must think about what will happen when you’re no longer at the helm. Even if you’re just temporarily indisposed, you want your employees to have clear guidance on what to do so your business remains running as efficiently as ever. 

Meet with an attorney to discuss options and draft an ironclad roadmap. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a number of tools on its website that help make what is no doubt a difficult process a little less cumbersome.

Though the outer stylings of the Kardashian/Jenner empire are probably pretty far removed from your business, the inner workings really aren’t that different. Each offspring has his or her own role in the business — Kendall is the supermodel, Khloe is the mouthy one primed for hosting gigs, and so on. They take chances on new ventures, such as Kim’s $100 million smartphone app. And you can bet that mom-ager Kris has a plan for what will happen next. If these reality TV socialites can do it, so can you.

Check out some more blogs geared towards small business owners and how you can help grow your business (with the help of GPS vehicle tracking)!

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