Keeping your work life and your personal life separate is usually good advice. But what happens when your husband is your business partner? Or if your grandmother's recipes from her home country are now the basis for your successful business?
In Wednesday's Small Business Town Hall, Garza and Price spoke to Inc. executive editor Marli Guzzetta about how to run a business based on your cultural and family values. Here are some takeaways for leaders who want to raise their game.
Adopt holistic hiring and promotion practices.
Corporations can often have hierarchical power structures, where the requirements for new hires or internal promotions are mostly rigid. An advantage of running your own business is that you can create a culture in which workers who show initiative can advance to other areas. Training employees with potential to take on more advanced roles can be one of the most rewarding parts of running a startup.
According to Price, many former Carol's Daughter employees have gone on to have careers at other companies, formed their own businesses, or become independent contractors.
"What you find is that more entrepreneurial companies give people a chance to do something that they like," she says. For example, let's say you hire an employee to pack boxes. If they show initiative, they can become head of the shipping department, and from there, become an assistant to the operations director.
"They have a job now, where if they walked into a corporation, they would never get there because they would just never be able to work their way up that ladder," says Price.
Entrepreneurs should be intentional about putting people first and creating an environment where employees can be successful, Garza says.
"When you believe in people, you're able to believe in them in such a way that it unlocks this magic. Everybody has it. They're just kind of waiting for that coach, that teammate, that individual to believe in them for that magic to come to life," says Garza.
Create healthy boundaries.
Companies might feel like families, but in actuality they're businesses. Your father can't fire you, but your boss can. Price stressed the importance of not avoiding difficult conversations or confronting problems.
"If I had to have a difficult conversation with someone, I would say to them, 'Right now, I am not your friend. I'm not your auntie. I'm not that person right now. I'm the person that's running this company, and who's responsible for everyone here getting paid every Wednesday. I'm the person responsible for the lights, the computers, the staplers, all of that stuff. And what you're doing or not is interfering with that process," says Price.
Tap into your fan club.
All startups encounter a myriad of challenges and obstacles in their early days. Family-run companies have even more added pressure. A failed business can result in you losing a job and a job loss for your loved ones too. Both Price and Garza emphasize the importance of leaning on family members during tough times.
"I was very fortunate to have my husband with me," says Price. "I had my cousin working for me. I had my brother working for me. Up until 2003, my mother was alive, so my mother was alive for the first 10 years of the business."
Entrepreneurs will inevitably make mistakes and have moments where they feel like everything is going to fall apart. Some days it may feel like you've erased 10 or 15 years' worth of work. But Price stressed the importance of fixing the mistake and moving forward, despite your fears.
"My mother always said, 'You cannot be courageous unless you're afraid, because being courageous requires standing in the face of fear and doing it anyway,'" says Price.