Why Family Businesses Are The Key To Britain’s Future Economical Growth
As Britain aims to boost its economic growth, it’s time to recognise and celebrate the family businesses that provide a stable and invaluable contribution to British Industry.
Family businesses are the backbone to the UK economy. 3 million firms in the UK are family enterprises, providing over 9 million jobs and making a major contribution to the GDP.
In recognition and celebration of the family business sector, events have been created to encourage and support family-based businesses. These include a six week family business road trip to meet some of the UK’s most prominent family businesses and an annual National Family Business Day, bringing together family firms to celebrate their contribution to the UK economy.
Here’s a look at one of the UK’s thriving family businesses, what gives them a competitive edge and their key to long lasting success.
A Family Success
Earlier this year, Franklins, a family-run sewing machine retailer and needlecraft store, celebrated its 60th anniversary. Established in 1956 and based in Colchester, Essex, the family firm has grown from one man operating from a loft with a collection of 7 second hand machines and a sparse budget, to become one of the largest sewing machine retailers in the UK and Europe.
Credit goes to the continued involvement of 3 generations of the Franklin family whose passion and enthusiasm has been passed on down over the years. Today the business is run by 5 core members of the family: 2 brothers and their 3 sons. Franklin’s is not only a local, Essex success, but a fine ambassador for UK businesses as a whole.
In 2011, the IFB family business sector report described family businesses as ‘powerful exemplars of British industry’, confirming the government’s commitment to supporting and encouraging start-ups and established family businesses with a more simplified and competitive business tax system.
The report also stated that although insolvency rates had risen during the economic slump of the past few years, they were lower for family firms than for their non-family counterparts.
So what gives some family businesses the competitive edge to succeed where others have failed? Family firms benefit from a range of advantages that aren’t found in other types of enterprises.
Shared Values And Commitment
Family members working together share the same ethos, beliefs and goals. Together with a stronger commitment, they are also more likely to dedicate greater time and effort to the business, keeping them a step ahead of competitors.
Loyalty And Sacrifice
Personal ties mean that family are more likely to stick together through harder times as they have a shared determination to make the business a success. Family partners are more willing to make financial sacrifices such as accepting lower or deferred pay during a cash flow crisis.
A successful and durable family business tends to have a strong governance at the helm, and industry knowledge built up over years is recognised and valued.
The Key To Longevity
The key to success is collaboration, involvement and good management. Reasons many family businesses fail include conflicts, nepotism and infighting.
The Franklin family credit much of their success to a collective enthusiasm to ensure continuous growth, adapting to changes in the industry and looking forwards to predict industry trends.
The combination of traditional values, knowledge, expertise and forward thinking will ensure that this Colchester based family business will continue to thrive for generations to come.