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How to Grow and Build Value in a Family-Run Business


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Adam Dowdney, partner and corporate and commercial law expert, writes in The Business Magazine.

The article provides advice for family business looking to grow and add value in a competitive work place.

The corporate and commercial team at IBB Solicitors works with many family-run businesses trying to balance the challenge of looking to provide decent returns for the current owners with a desire to see their legacy continue into the next generation.

Contact our corporate and commercial law experts today

To speak to one of our corporate or commercial solicitors please call us today on 01895 207973 or email Alternatively please visit for more information on how we can help you with succession planning for your business.

Other links:
How to register a business

How to buy a new business, sell your business or merge organisations

How to create a franchising agreement

How to create a share optin scheme

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How to Grow and Build Value in a Family-Run Business

  1. 1. business focus Whiletheneedtosteerpeople andorganisationshasnever beengreater,HRcontinuesto underinvestincapability-building, andthegapbetweenwhatwe needtodeliverandwhatweare abletodeliverwidens. Since2005,Henleyhas supportedHRthroughresearch, eventsanddevelopment programmes,includingthe AdvancedHRBusinessPartner programme. Nowweofferaseriesoffour, one-dayprogrammes,spanning today’schallengesofHRvalue creation:businesspartnering, talentandperformance, organisationaldevelopmentand strategicworkforceplanning. HRbusinesspartners(HRBPs)are nolongersimplygeneralistHR managers;theylinkthecentre ofabusinesstoitsconstituent businessunits.Theymustbe goodatHRandbeabletorole modelacommercial,pragmatic yetchallengingattitudealongside stakeholdermanagementand relationshipbuilding. Theymusttalkthelanguage oftalentandperformance,to helpembedanddrivewider organisationalapproachesto talentatthelocalleveland offerorganisationaldesignand changemanagementsupport. EXECUTIVEEDUCATION OPEN PROGRAMMES BE EXCEPTIONAL. THE HENLEY WAY. HR must invest in capability to stay relevant These are vital times for HR, writes Henley Business School Diana Richards 01491 418767 @HenleyExecEd Sadly,though,manyHRBPsfeel thattheyarenotequippedwith thetoolstoacceleratetheirown developmentinlinewiththis need. Therefore,Henleyhascreated theEffectiveHRBusiness Partneringprogrammes (parts1and2);bothone-day programmes,minimisingtime awayfromthebusiness. Part1coverstheskills,attitudes andbehaviourscriticalto establishingpartnershipand credibility,whilepart2focuses onmanagingtalentand performance. Incombinationwiththe organisationaldevelopment andstrategicworkforce planningmasterclasses,these programmesofferaconvenient andpowerfulopportunity forinsightanddevelopment, availablesinglyorasaseries. AtatimewhenHRfunctions mustestablishthemselvesasa fundamentalvaluepartnerfor businessanddeliverpowerfully againstthisproposition,HRhas toupskillitselftoclosethegap betweendemandandsupply. Ifwecontinuetobethe ‘cobbler’schildren’ofbusiness, theconversationsaroundour valueandcostwillbecomeeven morefrequentandpronounced. legal spotlight According to KPMG, family- owned companies account for two-thirds of all businesses worldwide and generate more than 70% of annual global GPD.  So they must be doing something right. So, what builds value in a family- run business, while maintaining the opportunity for well- structured family succession? Invest in the long term.When there is so much political uncertainty (eg Brexit) a family’s business tendency to invest more conservatively and build robust business models is a great asset.  Succession planning. Occasionally, the younger generation don’t want to follow their parents into the family business. Planning succession, whether it is from within the family or from outside, should be done together, for the sake of the family and their greatest asset. Use third-party advisers to provide impartial advice and ask those difficult, challenging questions. Work together.Working with relations can generate levels of trust and commitment not seen in other business models, but it can also lead to frustration, conflict and resentment. Keeping head and heart separate can make a family business successful, but ensure potential successors have exposure to all relevant parts of the business, so they are properly equipped when the time comes and ensure all successors have the necessary skills and commitment for the job ahead. Innovate. Embracing the online market and simply researching, testing and developing ideas that help the next generation engage with the business will help to rejuvenate the whole organisation. Stick to your values. Even if you are considering raising finance through external investors, banks orVCs/PE, work with your advisers to find the organisations that will help you keep your values intact. Whether your family business is there for the next generation, or is an investment that you will one day sell to aid future generations, you need expert advisers around you. At IBB, we take pride in understanding what our clients need to get done and what they want to achieve.  If you would like impartial advice that focuses on the positives, resolving problems and finding solutions that support the whole family, we are here to help. Adam Dowdney 01895 207264 Building value in a family-run business The corporate and commercial team at IBB Solicitors works with many family-run businesses trying to balance the challenge of looking to provide decent returns for the current owners with a desire to see their legacy continue into the next generation, writes Adam Dowdney, corporate and commercial partner 17THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE – THAMES VALLEY – MARCH 2017