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New enterprise to support family businesses

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01 July 2013

New enterprise to support family businesses

 A new enterprise has been set up in a bid to support family businesses across the UK. Established by Midlands based business woman Dani Saveker, Families in Business (FiB) aims to be a contact point for families working in business together particularly in the SME (small to medium enterprise) sector.

With a focus on providing family companies with community-based support ranging from corporate services such as business planning, accounting, legal advice and wealth management to more personal offerings around emotions and relationship dynamics, Families in Business acts as a complete network serving every need a family business might have. Drawing on her personal experience working within a family environment, Dani Saveker, who has been setting up the enterprise and is the former CEO of manufacturing firm Savekers Ltd, says, “Managing a family business can be quite challenging, especially when you have to make decisions or tackle certain problems. The people you are working with are obviously not just colleagues or employees, but some of your closest family members. However, in order to run the business effectively, you sometimes have to block out the fact that you know these people inside out and might hurt their feelings, even if this means some decisions could impact on your personal relationship with them. How you then deal with this personally is another set of challenges.” Feeling isolated and alone whilst going through the process of having to make family members redundant, Saveker wanted to prevent other people in similar situations from making the same experience. Subsequently founding the FiB initiative, her aim is to act as a support for family businesses whilst also improving the general understanding of family and owner-managed dynamics within the professions. Besides partnering with some big names including global chief executive organisation Vistage, nationwide events management firm Professional Event Services and Midlands Accountants Cooper Parry, Families in Business have also teamed up with several charities such as Grassroots Suicide Prevention and Help Harry Help Others to tackle personal problems within families. In addition, the network has appointed a number of Business Champions, including Professional Polishing Services' Kirsty Davies-Chinnock, who act as advocates and supporters within the FiB community. Saveker says, “According to research we have carried out, the biggest concern of family business members is that the company will negatively impact family relationships outside the business, closely followed by the difficulty of attracting and retaining high quality and essential business talent. These findings clearly show the need for a support network specifically tailored to family businesses.” The study further reveals that despite family businesses making up two thirds of the UK’s private enterprises, only 30% of them make it to the second generation and a mere 10% survive up to the third generation. Plus, with 72% of the questioned families admitting to only having family members on their board of Directors, the results further stress the circumstance that any problems within the family could potentially have devastating effects on the running of the business.

ENDS