When done properly, business meetings can be very productive for any small business or corporation by helping you to stay on top of the financial direction of your business, plan projects, and chart progress, but did you know that these same great benefits can help simplify your life at home to? Scheduling regular business meetings for your family can be a great way to streamline your home life and connect with family members on important issues. Family business meetings can keep you organized and gives everyone an opportunity to feel like they are an important part of the family and that they have a role in the goals and achievement of the family unit.
What are the Benefits of a Family Business Meeting?
Making the time for regular family business meetings can have several benefits for you and your family by helping you to:
- Control finances and stay on budget
- Reduce waste and save money
- Plan for major events such as vacations, college, or a new home purchase
- Catch potential problems before they become a major crisis
- Stimulates communication between family members
- Avoid scheduling conflicts
- Keep an eye on potential credit problems
- Insures that legal details are taken care off
- Keep you on track for personal and family goals
- Gives you a chance to discuss issues that might not otherwise arise
- Helps your organize your home life
- Keeps your priorities in line
- Can teach kids about being a part of a team
What Sort of Topics Do You Need to Include in a Family Business Meeting?
The various topics that you will need to cover at your family meeting will vary to some degree based on the size of your family and your current goals but there will be some basic areas that you need to touch upon at every meeting that are very similar to traditional business meetings such as finances, goal development, and long term planning.
Budget and Finances:
This is the area that you should cover in every single meeting that you have. Setting a budget is very important; however, if you do not make a point of going back and reviewing your finances throughout the month how can you be sure if you are actually keeping to that budget? This is particularly important for couples who may be spending out of the same account and it is also useful if you have multiple accounts that you are trying to juggle.
By having a regular review of your budget and other financial matters you can be sure that you are sticking to your budget. This is also extremely important for managing your credit as well because it helps you to keep track of due dates and spot any problems early on. Imagine if you had a fraudulent charge on your account but you did not bother to balance your accounts until several weeks later. That one charge could wreck havoc with your financial situation, cause massive overdraft fees, returned checks, and negatively impact your credit. However, caught early you have a chance to deal with it immediately before it affects other funds and to alert your bank or credit card companies early enough to stop any future transactions.
How often have you failed to pay a bill because you thought that your spouse had already taken care of it? Simple over sights like this happen more often than you might think and can end up making your payments late. But by simply coming together for a regular business meeting you can see what has been paid and what is due next to insure that your bills are always paid on time.
Do not get caught unaware or endanger your credit because you were not bothering to have a regular meeting with your partner on this important issue.
Keeping an eye on your schedule when you are single is a lot easier than juggling the schedules of other people. Taking a brief moment to compare schedules and make a note of what is going on with the kids, events that you need to attend, or simply scheduling that all important quality time together can keep you from getting to that point where you want to pull your hair out when things get too crazy. This is also a great way to make sure that you never miss an anniversary or birthday.
Families that plan out their meals before they go shopping can often save money while eating healthier as well because it cuts down on impulse buys or random shopping that may not end up making healthy meals. Plan your week and make a list of what you will need, then vow to buy only what is on the list. This can also help you save time during the week if you already know what is for dinner and have those ingredients lined up.
It is also important for you to look at your goals and to periodically evaluate the progress that you are making on those goals to insure that you are making progress towards fulfilling them. This is true for both long range and short term goals. Some of the goals you may have as a family involve saving for a vacation, building a home, or even fun projects such as building a nursery or creating a family tree that requires a lot of research. Whatever your goal, visit it periodically and discuss your progress as a family.
During your family business meeting it is very important to allow time for open discussions for everyone in your family. Whether it is a camp that your child is interested in going to or taking suggestions for next year’s family vacation destination you need to make this a time for any questions or issues to arise. This not only helps you handle things in an orderly manner and make life much less hectic but it makes everyone in the family feel like they have a role and that what they have to say really matters to you. Remember after all, that the heart of the family business meeting is the family. Use this meeting as a time to connect with one another and to communicate as a family instead of just a few chaotic people living at the same address.
Quarterly or Yearly Reviews:
In addition to the regular issues that you will consider during a family business meeting there are also a few things that you should put on the agenda for quarterly or yearly review.
If you own a business or perform any contract work through the year and have to pay income tax you will want to review this information to see where you stand and consider paying those taxes quarterly to make it easier on you and your budget.
Your insurance rates and policy benefits should be reviewed on occasion to make sure that you have the best policies that work for you and that you have updated any essential information. Changes such as address, number of cars being insured, installing a security system, etc. can all affect your policy needs. You may need to decrease or increase your coverage or may qualify for additional discounts. For example, some auto insurance companies offer discounts if you have a security device on your car of if it is housed in a secure facility instead of being parked on the street. So it is a good idea to glance over your insurance policy from time to time and evaluate whether your current policies are meeting your needs or not.
Long Range and Emergency Planning:
Certain topics may not come up at the dinner table but still need to be dealt with such as end of life decisions, wills, funeral arrangements, etc. While they may not be the most pleasant topics, dealing with them now when they are not an issue will be a lot easier for everyone than waiting until tragedy hits.
You also need to review emergency planning information as a family so that everyone knows the plan and will know what to do in an emergency. Where will you meet if there is a natural disaster? What are your feelings about being kept on life support? Would you prefer to be cremated or buried? Do you have a burial plot already? What about a will? Do you have a stocked first aid kit? Where are your emergency numbers? These are all important issues you need to discuss and review on a periodic basis. Having a family fire drill to kick off these meetings is also a good idea.
Repairs and Maintenance:
Take a quick moment to discuss any house hold repairs or up keep that you may need to take care of such as painting or calling an exterminator so that you do not wait until the last minute and end up paying for more costly repairs.
Whether you hold weekly or biweekly family business meetings, this will give you a great opportunity to work together as a family unit and to take charge of your life instead of letting the chaos take over until you are stressed out and your family gets trapped in a rat race of confusion. Just remember that every family is different and what you need in your family meeting may not work for someone else and that is ok; tailor it for a custom fit to your family and remember that above all, connecting and communicating with one another is essential and the most rewarding part of having a family business meeting.