Can Siblings Run Businesses Effectively?

Can Siblings Run Businesses Effectively?

Can Siblings Run Businesses Effectively?
Siblings may or may not have a healthy relationship as they grow up.

Can Siblings Run Businesses Effectively?

And although they grew up pretty well, they don’t always outgrow some issues which more often than not, reemerge when the family gathers whenever there’s an occasion. Nonetheless, when one gets stuck in a rut left with nothing to pull himself out, the other sibling reaches out a hand and offers a bailout. After all, blood is thicker than water.

But does this axiom apply in business as well, when siblings both have a “say” in the family-run enterprise? What happens to the relationship when accountability concerns arise? Will they be rivals or allies, betrayer or secret keepers? Raleigh’s Family of Business Institute had pep talks with three sets of siblings working together and asked them about the lessons they have learned while running their respective family’s small enterprise.

062013-npt-peanut-butter-1Different days of the week are spent focusing on different areas of the business to make sure nothing is neglected – supply issues are raised on Tuesdays, for example, while Friday is design day. “We have to be regimented for it all to run smoothly.

Café Tiramisu, North Ridge Pub and Cameron Bar & Grill in Raleigh are managed by siblings Richard and Paolo DeMartino. They started the business because they are bonded by the same goal – to be debt free. They decided to devote tasks to one another according to their strengths. Richard handles the company’s finances while Paolo, which is the artistic and more outgoing one, deals with the menu, décors and personnel. They have had squabbles but since they have learned what fighting can do in a business, taking as an example their father’s Italian restaurant that was shut down due to management issues, they don’t let their misunderstandings go out of hand.

The Clark sisters run the popular North Raleigh salon, Lux. Their father had his own business and has been their mentor. They assigned each one to corresponding positions based on their natural talents but their job descriptions were put down on paper. Karen, the eldest, manages finances. Christina handles the marketing side. Sharon oversees daily scheduling, human resources and interaction with customers while the youngest Deborah is the skilled hair stylist. The sisters wanted to have flexible work-family time. When they were starting, they worked almost 24-7 just to escape from the usual 8AM-6PM job routine. They hold weekly meetings to discuss business matters. They said that trust and respect are important in running the business smoothly.

Hispanic restaurateurs, Hector and Joel Ibarra, own Jibarra Restaurant and El Rodeo Grill in downtown Raleigh. They don’t hang out unlike other siblings who even have beers together due to their differences but they are business partners with sound managing ethics. Each one has his own temper but they don’t let it go under way for long. Instead, they have used their differences to their advantage. Trust in each other and commitment to give everything for the success of their business has kept them going.

Siblings Who Work Together

Please share examples of how your sibling relationship became even healthier  or more toxic since you decided to work together with your sibling.


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