Date posted: June 17, 2016

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Family Business
lance stringer

Lance Stringer
Lawnswood Pet Cremation & Cemetery


Pet services

What generation is your family business?


What is your role in the family business?

Managing Director

What is major goal for you in the family business?

Balance financial success with a perfect work life balance which will then allow me to be a great dad, husband and also help give others ‘a hand up’.

What gets you up in the morning (inspiration/motivation) ?

A desire to deliver exceptional service to as many people as we can.  I need to support, challenge and inspire my team of managers so they can do the same for their teams.  I am also mindful that by doing this I am also ensuring my family’s financial security into the future.

What’s the key benefit of your FBA membership?

Monthly guidance, inspiration and support from my forum group which keeps me accountable and focused.
[/special_functionality_column][special_functionality_column lg=”6″ md=”6″ sm=”6″ xs=”12″ ]FBA Accredited Adviser

John Broons

John Broons
John Broons – Accredited Advisory Pty Ltd

How long have you been working with family businesses?

Coming from a 3rd generation family business, I suppose you could say that family business is in my blood. In fact, it’s become my life.

Typical of a family-in-business, I grew up hands-on and surrounded by the business. My grandfather started a sawmilling business in the 1930’s that grew into a large, multifaceted public company. In time, the 2nd generation split up the company and sold off parts in an effort to streamline its management. When I eventually stepped in (as part of the 3rd generation), the business was a very different one and in the late 1980’s began struggling through the recession. It began to drive a wedge between us, as a family.

By talking and working through our issues, we eventually agreed on a fair settlement where I took the business and proceeded to grow, change and eventually sold it in 1997 – sadly closing the chapter of my family business ownership.

That said, it turned out I still loved family business. Despite or maybe because of my own difficulties, I couldn’t walk away from helping others. So since the early 90’s, I’ve consulted and advised other family businesses on how to get clarity around their business success and family relationships.

I became a founding committee and board member of FBA in Victoria (before the FBA became a national body), and joined the Family Firm Institute (USA) in 1998. Through FFI I gained both a Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising, and have since been honoured with a Fellowship of the Family Firm Institute.

In 2003 I moved to Perth, became an Accredited FBA Advisor, and have facilitated two family forum groups for the past 10+ years. In that time, I’ve specialised in family dynamics, generational change and solving problems for the long term positive future of a family-in-business.

But my love of business hasn’t stopped there. I’ve also chaired two groups for The Executive Connection (TEC) since 2007, where I work with the CEO’s of companies ranging from $0.5M-$1.4B, and for four years in a row been honoured with a TEC Chair Excellence Gold Award. I am also only one of two people who’ve received the TEC Robert Norse Award in Australia, in the last 30 years.

What’s one of the most common mistakes you see in family businesses?

I most frequently see people who are unable to separate family, from business. They tend to bring the business home and talk about it 24/7, and commonly feel they’re not able to take a break. That shouldn’t be the case.

Business is all about rules, and that constant pressure can be relieved relatively easily, if agreement can be reached and guidelines set for when it’s work and when it’s family time.
If you can’t let go of work, then it’s time to seek help to talk through your issues and plan (separate) time for each area of your life, and the people involved.

What is your “uh ha” moment with clients? When they realise…

After more than 20 years advising family businesses, the biggest ‘uh ha’ moment is always when they truly realise that they are a family who are ‘in’ business, not a family business.

The best way I can explain it is that family is like an apple, and business is an orange. If you put them together, you don’t have an apple-orange – but people think of a family business that way. Most people don’t even recognise that they have family working in their business, or that it’s any different than having employees. However, it’s very different and needs to be treated that way.