Growing up with parents who ran their own business, and then working within that business for over 17 years, I feel I’m qualified to understand the complex but ultimately rewarding nature of family businesses.
At one time our family business included Mum and Dad, who started the business in 1975 (full disclosure – the year I was born), my sister, my husband and me.
We created many successes in the business and our competitive advantage included:
- agility in being able to make decisions quickly
- a genuine passion for the business
- having our very own authentic story, which helped with our marketing and connection with our clients
- shared values
Working for a family business can be very different to a traditional business:
- there was a huge personal investment
- our rules were more guidelines
- we had a true sense of ownership
- we had pride where we worked and this provided amazing results
We equally had some challenges:
- at times we couldn’t disengage from work discussions
- sometimes feelings were hurt which resulted in emotional distress
- at times the interplay between family members would affect other staff members
Though several of the family members have moved on to different roles and challenges, the family business itself continues to be successful with my Father and Sister still in charge.
Some keys to our success and some tips I have learned working with other family businesses as their business coach include:
- communicating about critical issues
- having a foundation of transparency, honesty and fairness – this builds trust
- developing a Family Business Charter or the Rules of the ‘Game’ – a documented family charter outlines strategies and solutions which can be implemented to deal with family‐related matters that impact on business issues
- having support in the form of a business coach – used in times where business strategy is being developed, and when conflict arises
- being clear on the bigger picture
I am passionate about helping people clarify the vision for their business and how it fits with their personal goals.
Please feel free to call me on 0402 313 337 if you would like to know more.