What it means to be a family in business
14th August 2017
We often talk about family business as the backbone of our economy, and earlier today I was talking to the BBC about the growing contribution of family firms to the UK economy.
The number of family businesses has grown in recent years, flying in the face of a public perception that family firms are a thing of the past. What is it that is leading to this increase? What are the benefits of working with your family?
If there is one thing that unites all the families we speak to – no matter the size of the business or industry they work in – it is passion for their family firm. A passion to build on the legacy of the generations whose hard work has gone into the business. A passion and care for their products, their employees, their customers, and their communities.
That passion makes family business special. Customers can feel it, and it’s why they keep coming back. And because running a business is never all smooth sailing, it’s that passion that helps business owners commit to building their business even when times are tough.
When people think about family business they often talk about the challenges associated with working with family members. But what is often overlooked is the power of a family working together with a shared vision of the success they are trying to achieve.
With honest and open communication a family can decide together the future they are aiming for. Once this is decided, a family business has a powerful and motivated set of shareholders, managers and ambassadors – and the sky is the limit!
And finally the thing not to forget is how much fun it can be working with your family. Family business owners are in it for the long term, so it’s important you enjoy yourself along the way.
To keep the family relationships strong make sure you make space to spend time with each other away from the business. That might be an annual family away day, a monthly dinner, or weekly lunches. Somewhere you can go to just enjoy spending time with your loved ones, with no work conversations.
You can watch Elizabeth on BBC Breakfast here.