Small Business IT Problems Caused By Family Politics

Computer Support Q&A

This post is part of a series - a fun look inside our email inbox here at TUCU.  Our Computer Support Q&A series features true and embellished stories and Q&A’s from clients and computer users.  All identifying information is removed and some details may be changed to protect privacy. 

Small Business IT Problems Caused By Family


I have a tech worker but I don't think he's that good. I can't do anything about it though because he's my business partners' brother's kid.

It takes him a long time to figure out how to get things fixed when there's a problem. He's not really that good at setting up new systems, but it gets done eventually. It takes days for him to figure out how to make the right setting changes to our server. That's all somewhat tolerable.

What's not acceptable is when something goes really wrong and we lose data. The last time I learned that he hadn't done a proper backup in about two months, so we lost two months of data. I lost an important client because of it.

I'm also not at all confident that our network is as secure as it can be, and with all these data breaches and crypto locker viruses, I'm seriously concerned.

But I can't fire my business partners' brother's kid. But I need stuff to get done right around here. I've got relationship politics causing me small business IT problems. What should I do?

It's A Family Matter

Adam Says:

Dear “It's A Family Matter”,

Ah yes, the family business dynamic. Help you can afford, but help you can do without.  Sometimes a family business works well.  More often though, business and family do not mix well.

It sounds like this tech worker just doesn't have the skill to handle all that you are throwing at them, and things are getting missed - like backups. As you learned, inexperience can be costly.

And as you said, the scary thought is whether or not your servers, network, and data are safe.

But how do you delicately navigate relationship politics that interfere with your tech and hurt your business? We can help.

We have had clients in your position. We proposed Managed IT Services, where servers and network devices are managed weekly by our team of certified technicians, and we also offer unlimited remote support to your team. Meanwhile, your business partner’s brother’s kid works as boots on the ground, hands on help in the office. You feel comfortable knowing the important stuff is well managed, and the kid actually starts to learn more. Plus, no awkward discussion with your business partner.

The kid may learn so much that he can eventually handle it all on his own. That happened once. We had a bit of a proud parent moment, mentoring that kid to the point of confidence.

Most often though, we find the kid is hugely relieved because he knew he was in over his head but felt obligated to try his best because of the whole family dynamic thing. So the kid moves on to a job he is confident in, and you get better managed small business IT support.

Many people think that their teen or young adult who knows his or her way around Instagram, all the latest apps, and how to fix the lost printer connection, is skilled enough to handle small business servers and network security, but that just isn't the case. So, Managed IT Services are usually a win-win-win in scenarios like yours.

Hope this helps.

If you want an IT assessment, please get in touch. We're happy to help.

Adam Thorn
Lead IT Consultant

TUCU provides computer support and network maintenance services in Toronto and the GTA. For more information, please schedule your free consultation. We'd love to help you with your IT needs.

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