What you need to consider before hiring family members

August 31, 2022

Labor Day weekend is coming up, football returns next week, and the PSL is back. Goodbye summer, hello fall.

Hot off the SMB press this week:

  • Hiring family to help run your business: yay or heck nay?
  • Why your SMB workplace needs creativity to grow — and survive.
  • Rethinking your pricing strategy for middle-class customers. 


Read this before hiring family members.

A man saying, "Family."

AKA, the ones who will support you through thick and thin. They’ve got your back no matter what, and you trust them — which sounds like they’d make great employees for your small business.

But not so fast. Hiring family can be a bit more complicated than you might think. There are some considerations you’ll need to take into account before you start onboarding your family members:

Pro: A truncated hiring process.
Your typical hiring process can get long. You’re going through multiple applications, interviews, and background checks. Plus, you’re figuring out whether your candidate has the experience and personality to handle their new role and mesh well with your team.

On the other hand, if you have a family member you’re considering for one of your team’s roles, you already have a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses in the industry.

Con: Is it nepotism?
We get it: Family is family. But are you hiring them because they’re the best person for the position or because they need a job? And what will the rest of your team think? Even if your family member is a good candidate for the position, there could be perceived nepotism amongst the rest of your staff.

👉 Find more pros vs. cons — plus, tax considerations.


Take a peek at this year’s Playbook 2022 agenda 

Did you hear the news? We’ve added none other than Drybar co-founder Alli Webb to our power-packed speaker roster. She’ll be dropping some knowledge on how your SMB can win big by bringing the franchise mindset to your processes.

Headshots of Seth Godin, Allyson & Wes Felix, Alli Webb, and Jason Fried.

But wait, there’s more…

Throughout the two-day event, you’ll have exclusive access to:

  • A live Q&A with marketing hall of famer, best-selling author, and world-renowned TED Talk speaker, Seth Godin.
  • A chat with one of TIME’s Most Influential People of 2021 and most decorated American track & field athlete of all time, Allyson Felix. We'll sit down with her and her brother Wes Felix and talk about how they're striking gold with their sleek lifestyle brand, Saysh.
  • An exciting interview with Caitlin Crosby, founder and CEO of The Giving Keys, a give-back “Pay It Forward” jewelry company. Featured on Oprah’s SuperSoul100 list of visionaries elevating humanity, she’ll teach us about building a strong mission for your business. 
  • A lesson on hiring, delegation, and actually getting out of your team's way with CEO/co-founder of Basecamp (and co-author of the best-selling "Rework”), Jason Fried. 
  • And much, much more!

This event is FREE, totally digital, and completely candid. And it’s all going down September 21-22.

👉 Register now.


Are you giving your team enough room to get creative?

What do you mean by “creative”?
A creative environment is where leadership trusts their team and gives them enough autonomy to express themselves and try new things.

Not sure how much creativity I want (I like some things done a certain way).

A woman saying, "I expect everything basically to go my way."

Nothing wrong with knowing what works! If you’ve already gone through trial and error to understand the best practices for some of your processes, be sure to document them in a business playbook, so your whole team has access.

But let’s play devil’s advocate. When your employees feel trusted and have the freedom to experiment with new ideas, they’re more likely to try new approaches to master their role — like finding innovative ways to solve problems, discovering efficiencies, and learning how to adapt to the evolution of your industry and customer base.

Makes sense. How do I start encouraging creativity?
Here are some ways to get started:

  • Ensure an open, inclusive environment. Gather feedback from employees to make sure they have enough autonomy for creativity and feel that you’re continually improving your culture of belonging
  • Equip employees with tech. Give your employees the tools they need with cutting-edge technology and resources. And when they find a new best way to carry out a process, give them the liberty to update the platform you use to document business processes.

👉 See more ways to foster creativity.


Whose spending habits are changing with inflation?

Give me the numbers.
As inflation rises faster than incomes, most wealthy people’s spending remains unchanged. But lower to middle-class households — AKA those making less than $100K a year — are buying (or should we say not buying) accordingly.

What does this mean for my business?
Assuming your customer is part of the lower to middle-class, their purchasing power (or, the money they have available to spend on your business) is dwindling. Meaning, they have a choice to make. They can:

  • Sacrifice spending in some areas to keep buying certain things in others.
  • Find cheap alternatives for the things they want. 
  • Stop purchasing what they can’t afford altogether.
A woman saying, "I got your favorite." A man holding a beer asks, "The cheapest one?"

Woof. Those aren’t great options. But it gives you a new goal: to help potential customers understand that your product or service isn’t just another spend — it’s something that will fulfill their needs.

How do I do that?
Your customers are driven to spend based on their strongest motivations and pain points now more than ever. So, focus on what positions your product or service as a necessity instead of just a nice-to-have.

A great way to do this is by using Maslow's hierarchy for marketing. That’s when you promote your business as the solution to one or more universal needs — like safety, self-fulfillment, or even survival. This gives you limitless options to position your product or services as uncuttable and irreplaceable.

👉 Find out more about customer spending trends.


This week’s highlight reel

  • TTYL, BFF. Remote work might be bringing the era of the “work friend” to a close. The percentage of hybrid workers with a workplace “best friend” has dropped from 22% in 2019 to 17% this year. Makes sense — it’s pretty hard to put your bestie’s stapler in Jell-O when they live across the country. But employees aren’t too fussed. Losing an office BFF is a fair price to pay for flexibility and work-life balance.
  • Shopping cart theory. This week in celebrity-brand collaborations, Instacart is rolling out their new feature — Carts — which will display lists of grocery items picked by social media influencers and celebrities. And as interested as we are in Lizzo’s shopping list, the real question remains: Would she return her shopping cart
  • Caffeine headache. A group of unionized Starbucks workers in Anderson, South Carolina, was recently accused of kidnapping their manager after approaching her for a raise and new equipment. And you thought you had workplace drama.
  • TikTok: business edition. The platform is out to prove that they’re the best option for businesses everywhere. Their new ad feature Instant Page offers a fast-loading, easily customizable landing page that will help advertisers boost conversion rates and lower cost-per-acquisition. Plus, TikTok is also experimenting with a new “Nearby” feed, which will help users discover interesting events, places, and businesses in their local area.

Organize the chaos
of your small business