How We Work With You
Through a combination of facilitation, coaching and mentoring, we help you and your family reach agreement on business goals and develop ways for you to work together to achieve them.Many business challenges are common to all, but family businesses face additional stresses and strains. We find that when family businesses approach us to discuss any business topic, they are often also facing additional challenges relating to family relationships and involvement of multiple family members in the business. It’s critical to address both family and business issues up front, because any underlying conflicts, or lack of common ground will threaten the success of any new initiative and at worst lead to disagreement and resentment.
Empathetic and Flexible Approach
We work with you in whatever way you find most helpful. This is likely to include one-to-one conversations, group discussions, meetings, training sessions and individual coaching. If it’s easier for us to meet outside of office hours, that’s fine.
Though every family business is different, common objectives include peace within the family and a solid foundation for future growth. We find these are typically best achieved by working on the following:
Agreement on Direction and Long Term Goals
Does every member of your family see the same future for your business? Without shared goals, your business will struggle. We help you uncover hidden agendas, and we facilitate open discussion about business direction and strategy.
Decision Structures and Decision Making
How are decisions made? Does everyone have a clear remit? Do family members trust each other to act in the best interests of the business?When a conflict arises in a family business, it quickly becomes personal not only because of family dynamics, but also because the business may lack the clarity and structures commonly found in businesses that aren’t family run. We help you set down clear expectations, and to commit as a family to using these impartially for family and non-family employees alike.Decisions over the kitchen table when key people aren’t present? Mum or Dad groaning or the MD making the final call? We look for clarity:
- A clear organisational structure based on the needs of the business.
- Job descriptions clarifying roles with written staff policies and procedures.
- Management meetings with clear agendas and participation.
Developing Individual Skills and Performance
We often find people in family businesses have high levels of technical skill, but have not had the opportunity to learn best practice business and management skills because they have not worked in many other companies. It’s also quite common to see family members given jobs that don’t particularly reflect their skill set – and to see both the individual and those they work with struggle as a result.
We take a thorough look at the skills currently within your business and at those you will need for success. Typical outcomes of our work include:
– Definition of skills and competencies needed for each key role.
– Reorganisation of responsibilities to best use individual potential.
– Identifying skills gaps and ways to develop individuals.
– Introduction of objective performance reviews and individual development plans.
We will help you to work through the options and consider the implications of whatever decisions you might make, so that you can be confident your actions are in the long-term best interests of the business and therefore of the family.
Recognition and Reward
If people don’t feel their input is fairly recognised, they soon become de-motivated and unproductive. In a family business, it’s even more serious. Handing your notice in and moving on is rarely an option, and simmering resentment can destroy relationships at work. We work with you to uncover any perceived inequalities, and explore how you can create a more transparent culture where everyone feels fairly rewarded.
The one thing certain in a family business is that at some point a decision has to be made about what happens when the current MD is ready to take a step back.
Is the next generation trained and happy to take on the responsibility? Who might be the best person? Might you be putting pressure on someone to take over when they actually see their future elsewhere? Should you be considering selling the business rather than passing it on? We help you discuss the issues openly and create a sensible and realistic plan for the future of the business you have worked so hard for over the years. Once a plan is finalised, you remove a huge obstacle to peace in the family – and you can work together for the best business and personal outcomes when the time comes.
The Biggest Challenges Bring the Biggest Rewards
We have worked with and in family businesses employing between 2 and 2000+ employees, and with businesses employing up to 3 generations. In all cases the combination of traditional business issues with those of a family business has made for a unique combination of challenges and rewards.
Our goal is simple: For all family members who are active in the business to enjoy their involvement while learning and growing with each challenge.
For an informal chat about support for family business, call us on 01625 329 319 or contact us to arrange for us to call you.
From our base in Macclesfield, we provide Business Advice, Mentoring, Coaching and Training to businesses across Cheshire,Derbyshire and the North West including Macclesfield, Wilmslow,Stockport, Buxton and Manchester.