10 tips for creating a great family business

Picture of John Broons
John Broons

John Broons is a globally awarded family business expert. One of only three people in Australia to hold the coveted title of Fellow of Family Firm Institute (Boston, USA), John has dedicated his working career to answering the question: how do I guide and support families in business to a place where they’re thriving?

Here’s a list of key strategies and tips to help family businesses thrive and succeed across generations. Running a family business is a unique journey filled with pride, joy, and challenges, and support is always here for you.

10 tips for creating great family businesses
Embrace the family legacy

Recognise the rich history and values that have been passed down through your family business. Embrace your unique story and use it as a guide to make decisions that align with your core principles.

Foster open communication

Communication is the lifeblood of any family business. Encourage open and honest dialogue among family members, and create an environment where everyone feels heard and valued. Regular family meetings can be a great platform to discuss important matters and make collective decisions.

Define roles and responsibilities

Clearly establish roles and responsibilities for each family member involved in the business. This helps minimise confusion, promotes accountability, and ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal.

Seek external expertise

Don’t be afraid to seek outside guidance and expertise. Engaging with consultants, industry experts, or joining business associations can provide fresh perspectives, best practices, and valuable insights to help your family business thrive.

Develop a succession plan

Plan for the future and develop a comprehensive succession plan that outlines how the business will be passed on to the next generation. Start early, involve all relevant family members, and consider factors such as leadership development, ownership transition, and estate planning.

Encourage professional growth

Invest in the professional development of family members involved in the business. Provide opportunities for education, training, and mentoring to foster growth and ensure the business benefits from the latest industry knowledge and expertise.

Embrace innovation

Embracing innovation is key to the long-term success of any business. Stay updated on industry trends, explore new technologies, and constantly seek ways to improve processes and services. Encourage a culture of creativity and adaptability within your family business.

Nurture a healthy work-life balance

It’s important to strike a balance between work and personal life. Encourage all family members to take time for self-care, leisure, and quality time with loved ones. This balance not only promotes individual well-being but also fosters a harmonious family dynamic.

Build a strong team

Surround yourself with a strong team of family and non-family employees who share your values, work ethic, and vision. A diverse team can bring fresh perspectives and complementary skills to the table, enhancing the overall performance of your family business.

Celebrate milestones and successes

Take the time to celebrate your family business’s milestones, achievements, and successes. Recognise and appreciate the hard work and dedication that has brought you this far. This boosts morale, strengthens family bonds, and serves as a reminder of the pride and joy that comes with being part of a family business.

Remember, running a family business is a journey that requires continuous learning, adaptability, and support. I hope these tips help you navigate the unique challenges and opportunities that come with being part of a family business.

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