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Transforming The Family Business

We work with many family owned/run businesses in the SME sector. Many have been running successfully for a century or more and carry with them some important qualities and values. What we see in abundance from these businesses are:-

A real sense of pride in the family and its business

Total belief in what the business stands for

A real passion for the business and emotional attachment

A sense of loyalty towards those who work within it

Total commitment to get the work done – whatever it takes  

While these are great values/ principles to possess the strengths that these can provide the business with can also become its biggest weaknesses. The reality is that the SME sector is tough and that the things that may have worked for ‘all these years’ may not work as well today. Every market has changed beyond recognition in the last ten years. The onset of the Digital age means instant communication and instant expectation in many cases. If businesses have not kept pace and adapted accordingly the future may be a little bleaker than anticipated. Passion can override objectivity, loyalty can be blind to reality etc.

Often the ‘chickens come home to roost’ when the family (or a member of the family) is looking at a potential retirement and funding for the same – the value of the business (or their share in the business) suddenly comes under the spotlight. What potential buyers look for often relates less to the qualities exhibited by the family as specified above but relate far more to how the business is managed and run day to day, the processes in place and the nature of the market offer. Plus its competitiveness and ability to lead the market or perform exceptionally well within it.

Family businesses can get caught out here.....

  • The loyalty and commitment of family members often means them taking on ‘more than is reasonable’ and the business relies on a person and not a well oiled process that can stand change
  • Little thought has been given to structure other than organising the work around the people – not around the work itself – causing real imbalances
  • As a result not much has gone into training and developing the ‘next generation’ to allow them to seamlessly ‘pick up the baton’
  • Good people may have, as a result of the above point, come and gone (or not come at all) which means that when benchmarked against competitors’ talent the business falls short
  • The valuation may come as an unpleasant surprise unless something unique/ different and sustainable (beyond the family) exists that adds value for interested parties

Our approach is straightforward when working with our Family Business clients....

  • Let’s use your undoubted strengths as a platform to build on
  • Introduce structure, process and the principles of accountability and responsibility to the team
  • Continually review and benchmark your offer against the market – objectively, how does it stack up?
  • Let’s benchmark your team against the best in the market and best practice – if it falls short up skill the current team and/ or add new talent
  • Learn how to motivate, develop and create a winning unit that works through structure, process, initiative and responsibility

Food for thought? Contact us here.

You have everything to gain, as many of our clients testify, and nothing to lose......

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Who we have worked with

Who we have worked with: Hallmark Cards, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, Rolls Royce, Sunseeker, Mattel, MicroSoft, Argos, Auto Glym, P&G, Ferranti, FloGas, Lloyds TSB

Tinderbox Limited Registered office: Ventura House, Ventura Park Rd, Tamworth, B78 3HL, Registered in England
Company registration number 7663634

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