FIB Survey reveals family business focus for the year ahead is on sales and marketing

We Aardvarks understand family businesses – we’re family owned ourselves and this is a characteristic we share with the majority of our clients. Family businesses are different. They are often concerned with long term strategies and succession. They have their own unique ethos and values. Not for them the simplistic, often short term, drive to increase shareholder value at the expense of other important goals and principles. The most successful family businesses, those with the greatest longevity, are those that have looked ahead and been able to successfully adapt and thrive within constantly changing commercial environments. The Families in Business Community (FIB) regularly surveys and tracks the current state and future focus for such businesses as part of their annual report.
Looking ahead into 2016, the Top Three Leadership priorities for these busineses in the coming year are
1. Sales and marketing
2. Building value in the business
3. Marketing, PR and profile raising
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this. Improving sales and marketing and building up a business brand reputation are key areas that need to work well if any business is to thrive and grow. They are a prerequisite for long term success. Many family businesses begin with a founder who has expertise and knowledge about a particular product or service, however they are not necessarily experts at leadership, or at growing and managing a business in strong growth. Often founders lack experience and training in implementing sales and marketing strategies and find the wealth of change, particularly in the areas of digital marketing and marketing automation, confusing. Sometimes this can lead to costly mistakes being made and frequently such busineses find measuring their return on marketing investment hard to quantify. Building a robust and profitable business to hand down to the next generations also presents new challenges, as does planning and implementing the succession process.
The FIB annual report covers in depth family and succession challenges, the role of stakeholders, challenges in the areas of people and skills, business stewardship and assets & external advisers. It makes fascinating reading. Working within a family brings about communication issues, when sometimes issues remain unaired because of the risk of upsetting another close relative. The family dynamics, politics and relationships today are often more complicated because of step children or second marriages and many remain vulnerable if something unforeseen happened to a key director.

Aardvark Marketing are specialist marketing advisers for the FIB organisation. Like other FIB specialists, we’ve been chosen for our expertise in helping family run businesses innovate and grow. We’ve seen and experienced at first-hand how family members and different generations work together successfully and we’ve also seen some of the pitfalls! To find out more about FIB advisers or to read more about how to get the best out of external advice, why not check out the FIB website
To view the full FIB annual report and survey findings, click here

Happy marketing!