What are your aspirations in the future for your family business?
The main thing that I want to achieve with the Family Business is to grow the Business . The Family will naturally grow and if Family members want to come into the business , there needs to be growth to allow them to come in. That said, it is important that those members earn that position . Positions cannot be reserved for family members , positions should be given to the best candidates at the time, non-Family included . Growing the Business comes in various shapes , diversifying into other Industries could be an option, especially if outside circumstances prevent your core business from flourishing at the time. Another goal or wish of mine is for the Family Business to always have a succession plan in place to ensure the Longevity of the Business. And Finally my wish is for the family Business to provide an acceptable level of wealth to the family and provide Fair and equitable wages to our Employees .
What have been the greatest opportunities being a family business in your industry?
Being a Family Business that demonstrates good values usually has an edge over Corporate Companies within the Transport and Logistics Industry. Often there is a relationship developed over time between our Customers . Customers tend to support these relationships provided that it is backed up with the expectation of good Customer Service and value for money which is the key to maintaining clientele.
What are the greatest challenges of being a family business?
The greatest challenge for any Business whether family or not is to maintain acceptable profit margins and to ensure that the strategies embarked upon to develop the business have the desired effect of maintaining that desired profit margin. The difference with a Family Business I see is the structure . All family Businesses are different and have different structures and hence different Challengers. What might work for one family Business may not work for another family Business. Perhaps the best way for Family Businesses to meet these Challengers is to have a Family Charter and Shareholder agreement in place to avoid disputes . Often however you cannot predict situations that may arise which causes conflict within the family Business . Having a Board of Directors with outside non family / Exec Directors should go a long way to ensure disputes or conflict within the business is confined and resolved.
What advice would you give to other family businesses who own a family business or are thinking about it?
Family Businesses usually just evolve and grow organically and most often than not the first gen don’t have time to plan for succession , they are too busy building the business . It’s when the second Generation start coming along that the family business needs to put steps or plans in place to set aside guidelines or rules that govern the Family Business. Probably the best advice is to separate family from the family Business and have a definite plan that will work to have that separation. My other advice is to employ trusted non family members to oversee younger Family members coming into the business. This way there is a conduit between Senior family members and junior family members , which is really important to the development of the Business.
What are the main benefits or value your membership with FBA has offered you?
Getting to hear other stories that resonate with our Journey is always very interesting and there is often a telling message worth considering and perhaps adopting . Being involved in Forum Groups has been of tremendous value to me personally . Getting to listen to other CEO’s or Directors of other family Businesses has given me a lot of confidence in heading our own Family Business and has helped formulate my own leadership style. Another benefit that FBA provide is that they recognize that family Businesses come in all different shapes and sizes and they are excellent in providing forums that offer advice and knowledge to the family Business sector.
Secon Freight Logistics