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Secrets of a successful family business

24th August 2017

Secrets of a successful family business

It’s a source of pride for many businesses across the UK: ‘We are a family-run business’. It instantly invokes a sense of trust, closeness and a community attitude, which draws in customers who might think twice about using a business that didn’t have that family feel.

Running a successful family business requires hard work, the buy-in of all the people that work for you – not just the family – and a focus on doing things well for everyone. At Wise & Co we work with a wide range of fantastic family-run businesses, and we’ve learnt a lot along the way about what you need to do to create a business that works:

  • Extend your ‘family’ – every member of staff needs to feel and be treated like a member of your family. You grow your business by adding people, and by extending your family feel, you’ll create loyal, lasting members of staff who’ll work hard alongside you.
  • Keep business at the workplace – try not to take business issues home or to family events. This is perhaps one of the hardest rules to follow, but it really makes a difference. Restrict business talk to business hours if you can.
  • Recruit for attitude – sometimes the scariest moment in a family business comes when you need to look outside the family. Before you do, think about the type of people you want to work in your business, and make that your primary hiring focus. Skills can be taught; attitude can’t.
  • Experience it all – wherever possible, get all family members to work across the business so that they understand exactly how each function works and get to know all the people involved. This is especially important for next-generation family members.
  • Utilise skills & experience - if there are family members outside of the business they may have the contacts, skills and experience to help your business.

Great family businesses are pragmatic, focused, forward-thinking and flexible, but most of all they make sure their family values are embodied in everything they do.

Thinking of starting a family-run business? Or perhaps you’re already up and running but need advice on growth and employment? If so, contact Wise & Co today.



Having Wise & Co there supporting my business means I can get on and concentrate on creating deals. Wise & Co have served me extremely well for 30 years – friendly and efficient service.
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