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Family Businesses: How to Grow Stronger & Greater

Homes have arguments and laughter, competition and teamwork, but love and care is usually at the foundation. Having a family-run business is similar, except not everyone is your family and there’s serious work to be done. Here CEO Today hears from Guy Perry, Managing Director at A Perry & Co., on family business growth and the keys to stable success.

When a company is family-run and retains its independence, generally it is more agile and flexible, and can make swift decisions about its business direction and strategy. A key factor for a family-owned business is the ability to recognise and encourage the company’s individuality, its strong family bonds and build on its traditions.

Loyalty is king

Loyalty is a major factor in driving forward a successful business. Treating members of staff like family, even if they’re not, is an effective way of encouraging and nurturing committed employees. Loyal employees are crucial to a successful business and long-term commitment leads to additional benefits such as a better understanding of the industry, organisation and job, stronger customer relationships and more effective sales and marketing.

It is what makes an independent company thrive for so many years. In a workplace which is currently heavily transactional, defined by instant perks and gratification, keeping your employees for longer periods of time and aligning them with the business’ goals can be a challenge. Creating a family environment, whereby employees have trust in the management and open-door relationships are encouraged is key to engendering a positive, healthy environment.

A stable future

When it comes to a family-owned business stability is another significant advantage. The leader of the business is usually determined by family position and this generally leads to longevity and consistency. Leaders are usually in the position for many years and this normally culminates in long term stability in comparison to a business that has a new CEO/MD every few years or so.

Agility rules

In our business you’ll never hear “sorry, that’s not in my job description”, as with a family-run business comes flexibility. Family members and loyal members of staff are willing to wear several different hats and take on new tasks that may be outside their formal job roles to ensure the company’s success. Even successful business people like Estee Lauder, who was the only woman on Time magazine’s list of the century’s business geniuses in 1998, didn’t sit back on her laurels. She committed herself to her business and was involved in everything from cooking recipes of face cream to personally giving free demonstrations to customers and even training the saleswomen who would sell them.

Keeping it real

Authenticity and trust are also two driving factors in a successful family-run business. You might hear more laughter in our business compared to another organisation but that’s what happens when everyone is close knit. Saying that, because the team is so close, we are also fearlessly honest with one another. We understand that criticism is not being given to put an individual down, but rather to lift them up to create fantastic work. Trust is one of the most important advantages of a family business and it is certainly essential to all businesses in general.

Despite Brexit, recently, A Perry stuck to its decision to invest £4 million in a new warehouse and manufacturing facility, creating new jobs and enabling the company to expand into new market sectors. It remains true to its USPs of quality, performance, value and delivering excellent customer service. As a company we are confident that our loyal taskforce, along with the stability and authenticity of our business, will continue to drive a bright and successful future.

Don’t be too quick to think that a family business only benefits those in the family. A successful family business is a win/win for the employee and employer. Family organisations do come with challenges but it’s their own set of unique advantages that make them so special.

If you overcome the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities, then you’re onto a winner.

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