For too long, family-owned businesses in the UK have been viewed as old-fashioned. We’ve been almost apologetic and tried to hide the ‘family-ness’, instead doing everything possible to look more corporate. The rest of the world embraces family firms, in fact they’re valued as the real backbone of economies from China and Japan to Germany and Spain.
For the last 10 years, Family Business Place have been working tirelessly to make family businesses sexy. Our members are proud advocates of the benefits of being a family firm and, together, we are part of a national movement to change perceptions.
Why family businesses rock –
We are here to stay. We think generations down the line, not just the next quarter or 12 months. That means financial stability and security for everyone who works for us and their families.
Want to work from home one day a week so you can do the school runs? No problem. Need to get away early to visit your Gran in hospital? We understand. Have to cut your hours to care for your elderly parents? Consider it done.
Family businesses are empathetic because we’re families ourselves. We understand that life happens and that family is the most important thing in the world. So if we can figure out a way to be flexible whilst at the same time getting the job done, then everyone wins. We know that our people go above and beyond so who cares if you leave a few hours early – the business will find a way to make it work.
It doesn’t matter if your family business turns over £100k or £100million – we still feel every single exciting moment that happens. That makes it a great place to work and somewhere where everyone is involved. The entrepreneurial thrill that our founders experienced in the early days ripples down through the company and, as leaders, we like to take people on the journey. Yes there will be tough times along the way but we’re also great at celebrating the huge moments and sharing those with our team. That’s why family firms have such incredibly loyal people who stick around for 20, 40, 60 years!
When your name is above the door, everything is personal. So if there’s a family member at the helm, you can rest assured they are living and breathing the family values which their company is built on. They’ve sacrificed a LOT to ensure the success of their family business and so feel every mistake as well as every success. What’s more, that filters down through the business and you’ll often find people starting out at the bottom who have an immense sense of pride at working for the local family business.
Nowhere else will you find companies so willing to invest in the training, development and wellbeing of their staff. Every day we hear tales of the shop floor assistant working her way up to store manager, the apprentice who joined 25 years ago and is now running his own department and the fruit picker who now develops all the new award-winning jam recipes, exported around the world. We love an underdog, people who don’t ‘fit’ at other companies, those who are a little rough around the edges. But we’re willing to take a chance on someone if we can see true potential and a willingness to work hard.
If you need advice with your family business call Anita Brightley-Hodges at Family Business Place and have a confidential, discreet conversation with someone who understands – 01732 220 120
Author: Anita Brightley-Hodges, Specialist Family Business Advisor