In these changing times we are living with jeopardy. This week at number 10 Jacqui met Boris Johnson. He said that he believes for the country to thrive business must flourish. Thomas Jardine & Co are doing our bit by working closely with Be the Business and others to help UK Businesses to increase their productivity.
Why productivity is important
The UK is facing an unprecedented productivity crisis. If we don’t correct this, we will inevitably lose business to more productive countries. Fixing this means we cannot continue doing what we have always done, we must learn to adapt and change.
Black Farmer and jeopardy
Whilst Jacqui was meeting Boris in London, we heard a master class from Wilfred Emanuel-Jones (Black Farmer Ltd) in Penrith. Wilfred took us through his story of dealing with jeopardy which he defined as the risk of loss, harm or failure. He emphasized that businesses who can thrive with jeopardy will lead the way in the future. The world is changing rapidly, constant change will be the norm. We will all have to learn to unlearn what we know and adapt to new realities.
We have seen the future is bright and met some jeopardy masters
Jacqui’s visit to number 10 was sandwiched within a two-day course Thomas Jardine & Co delivered on design thinking for a marvellous group of SMEs and entrepreneurs. This course was part of Lancaster University’s Cumbria Growth Hub. Over these two days we really saw the ability of business owners to grasp new concepts and square impossible circles. Good business owners by default are living with jeopardy. If government allows them to flourish, they will help solve the productivity challenge.
Jeopardy is all around us, embrace it! Let’s enable the people who live with it daily to help create a business environment that increases our productivity to a level that is the envy of the world.
Family and place
Family owned firms are critical to your place. Imaging loosing just under half your retailers, restaurants and hotels from your place. Statistics highlight the impact of family businesses on these sectors. According to the IFB 85% of all private businesses in the UK are family owned. 46% of all those employed in retail and wholesale work for family firms. Family owned hotel and restaurant businesses also account for 46% of the total employment in that sector.
How the ‘family business’ is lost in place consultations
It’s simple. Family businesses are involved in consultations but they are identified as retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs or wholesalers. Numerous academic papers acknowledge that family businesses do have an impact on regional planning. They argue that the regional impact of family business may be down to a combination of the embeddedness of the family firm in their community and the role personal relationships play in local networks .
The academic argument on family business impact
Academic papers show that network roles and choices made by individuals within family businesses are different to those in non-family business. This is because family firms have a social and emotional attachment to their place, which is referred to as ‘socioemotional wealth’. Those with high socioemotional wealth tend have more positive impacts on their local community than non-family firms. In some cases family firms may value socioemotional wealth over financial performance. It should be noted that there is some evidence that this commitment to place, above financial reward, is not exclusive to family business. But family connection to place plays a key part in this decision .
The emphasis of public sector support for regional development on quantifiable measures such as GVA can identify the impact family firms have on place. However at times this may be overlooking the long term value of socioemotional wealth to that place.
Practical steps to ensure the longevity of family firms
Several organisations such as the Family Business Network and Family Business United celebrate the best of family businesses regionally and nationally. There are also others who work on supporting the successful transfer of a family business from one generation to another. Be the Business offer various levels of support or family businesses and are working on next generational family business workshops. Thomas Jardine & Co work with the Family Business Network and Be the Business and would be happy to put you in touch with either of these great organisations.
Bring place and family closer together
When making plans for the business sector in your place, please do not just focus on the standard industrial sectors. Consider the generational firms based in your place. Support them and encourage the birth of new family businesses in your place. Successful businesses that are based in a place will look after that place for generations to come.