Did you know family businesses account for 70% of all businesses in Australia and employ around half the country’s workforce?
By their very nature, family owned and run businesses are different from other firms. Approximately, one in five of our clients are family businesses and a good proportion of these are intergenerational.
We’re also a family business marketing agency – a husband and wife team. We both grew up in successful and long-standing family businesses, which probably gave us the impetus to set up on our own ten years ago.
There is always good relatability between us and our family business marketing clients. We certainly think there is shared respect for our entrepreneurial endeavours and for the challenges of running a business while maintaining a family – not to mention the associated risks.
Here are some observations we’ve made over the years spent operating our family business marketing consultancy and working with other family businesses.
Features of Successful Family Businesses
- The successful family businesses we work with display a tremendous sense of purpose and, with it, a commitment to future-proofing. They tend to exhibit sustained resilience, agility and determination which is inspiring. In our opinion these businesses don’t get the recognition they deserve – as the backbone of the Australian economy.
- Another difference is that family business owners demonstrate high levels of trust and loyalty to the people who work for them. More than other firms, they tend to commit to their people and to developing talent. They almost always have a can-do attitude and their ongoing long-range planning act as a source of stability for the people around them. We think this is a difference you can feel.
- Family business owners embed their personal values in all they do. This tends to come naturally to firms who are led by the people who run them. These values often link to their founding story and to the skills and values on which they began their business.
- Successful family business owners often take a high-level view of the firm and its assets – and retain a focus on creating various kinds of value (from the financial, to social, relational and reputational).
Family Businesses Do Confront Unique Challenges
Family businesses are also different in the challenges they confront.
- One of the greatest is keeping business and family matters separate and maintaining the success of the family relationships. It can be wonderful to share a business with your family yet competence is more important than care in a business.
- Another challenge is ensuring there is not just good management but forward-looking leadership. With those two challenges overcome, family firms can be better placed than other firms to weather storms because of their shared and deep-seated commitment.
- Cash is always king in a growing business and there is a need to focus on operational excellence and financial performance. In a smaller family business, where resources are more limited, executives must engage in a more hands-on management style, acting in many projects as individual contributors as well as people managers.
- Family business owners can become isolated by their leadership role and responsibility, without the support structure of a larger corporation. They can often benefit from sound independent advice in relation to their growth plans and in mediating key decisions.
External, specialist support for a growing business can range from accountants, financial planners, business planning and facilitation, independent board members and marketing coaches (like us) can be invaluable to support decision making and the capacity to reach business goals.
Seeking outside guidance is something we take seriously at Edmonds Marketing and we think it has helped sustain our development.
As always, if you would like to discuss your family business marketing needs with us, contact
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