15th August 2016 Working with family businesses – it’s not all coffee and weddings
I find it strange that to many people “family business” still conjures a small or mid-sized company with a local focus and dynastic squabbles over succession. In our experience family businesses are often some of the most innovative and commercially minded. For a start, the unique ownership structure of family businesses gives them a long-term orientation that traditional public firms often lack. Which helps explain how family businesses supply approximately half of the jobs in Europe and the Americas and account for nearly two-thirds of all the companies in those regions.
The generations involved in successful family businesses have a passion and determination to regard their businesses as trusts or stewardships, responsible not just for today but for writing the next chapter of the story for future generations.
Numerous stakes are debated until the right decisions are made. Resolutions aren’t driven by profit alone, more by doing what’s right for longevity, whether it’s for global sustainability, bolstering local communities or improving health and well-being.
There are special connections weaving through a family business. Everyone counts. In all families there are those who participate and those who do so less. Yet all are factored in, all (generally) are invited to attend those all-important events like weddings, or they at least make a point of letting everyone know why they’re not coming!
More often than not this courtesy in a family business extends to employees and suppliers – like the window cleaner who comes in for a coffee, or the postman being made a fuss of at Christmas. There’s an embrace and a welcome into the fold. But you have to earn that embrace. You have to be loyal and committed when you work with and for a family business and you have to do your job well. You have to build trust.
There are family businesses large and small among Kava’s clients. We’re trusted with the heirlooms and we hold them precious. We work with everyone involved – the leaders and the obstacle builders, listen and aim to keep the peace so that the website or the event or the brochure does what it needs to do. It’s enjoyable and rewarding because we are working with principles and responsibility.
After all, we’re family-owned too.
Kava works with local and international family businesses, view our portfolio here