Date posted: February 12, 2016

As we get into the swing of 2016, here are the top 12 tips for the year

  1. Wherever possible, leave work at work and home at home. Learning techniques to be present in either environment will assist you to be more effective.

  2. Have clear, consistent communication. It is important family members are open and transparent with respect to their intentions, motivations and reasons during decision-making processes and discussions.

  3. Build trust with your family business brand. Research has shown family businesses have an advantage as they are highly trusted and preferred by consumers and the public. This presents an opportunity to have the community identify with your brand. Find out about the Family Owned Australian Business emblem here.

  4. Ensure your online presence is strong. Consumers expect to be able to access businesses around the clock via online platforms whether it be for sales, customer support or general product or service information. 

  5. Have clearly assigned roles for each family and non-family member in the business to avoid feelings of inequality, being taken for granted, over-worked or under-utilised.

  6. Pay the market rate – remunerate the job and not the person.  Clear position descriptions, responsibilities and performance measurement will assist in fair remuneration.

  7. Review or develop a succession plan and ensure that it is endorsed by affected parties – it should be a communicated process rather than a sudden event.

  8. Develop a robust, capable management structure. Having systems in place for both business and family governance are some of the best ways to ensure the sustainable management and long term success of your family business. 

  9. Start preparing the next generation. There is a lot of value in on-the-job training and it is important your family business works with the management team or external advisers to create a plan that works best for your family business to ready the next generation of leaders.

  10. Make philanthropy part of your strategy. Not only does philanthropy provide an opportunity to engage with your community and set your business apart from the pack, it can also strengthen the bond between generations and the legacy of family business values.

  11. Use external advisers who can provide unbiased advice – preferably accredited, family business advisers.  An objective sounding board provided by an external adviser can be a lifesaver when navigating the complexities of family business challenges.

  12. Engage in professional development. Research shows family businesses that participate in professional development and build lasting support networks have a stronger foundation to maintain profit, continue to grow and to manage a successful transition of business ownership.