Running a business in the current economic climate is tough. Decreased footfall on our high streets paired with increased rates on rents and energy, means that businesses are under a lot of pressure to get it right. It is so important for our struggling economy to see and support businesses to not just survive but thrive.
Perhaps the trend to support local is having an effect, as family businesses generally seem able to weather the current economic storm. The Transform to Build Trust report, carried out by PwC, which polled over 2,000 family businesses across 82 countries between October 2022 and January 2023, revealed double-digit sales growth at 43% of family businesses globally in the last financial year, up from 21% in 2021.
Keeping it in the family
Family businesses play an essential role in the UK economy. According to a report by Oxford Economics, there are an estimated 4.8 million family businesses in the UK, meaning that approximately 85% of all private sector businesses are family owned. These businesses employ 13.9 million workers (50% of all private sector employment) and contribute a massive £575 billion to the UK economy.
Family businesses have strong values and a grassroots commitment to customers within local communities, building loyalty and trust. A survey conducted by PwC in 2021 found that the vast majority of UK family businesses engage in some form of social responsibility activities, with 74% doing so within the local community.
Family Business United
Family Business United is an organisation that acts as a voice for the family business community and offers an invaluable source of insight into the sector. It does this by undertaking research projects, and hosting social media chats, webinars and innovative events for its members.
One such event is the Family Business Road Trip, which is a seven-week tour across England to visit a range of family firms, which kicked off on 24th April 2023.
Paul Andrews, Founder and CEO of Family Business United hopes the tour will further put the family business sector on the map and amplify the family business voice. He explains; “This is a great event where we get to visit family businesses, to see what they do and where they do it and listen to the stories behind the business. The sense of pride and passion for what they do is palpable at each and every visit and it is a real privilege to be let in and shown around.”
Family Business United Road Trip visits Lamberts
The East Anglian leg of the Family Business United Road Trip takes place over the first week of the tour (24th- 28th April) and is sponsored by law firm Birketts. Birketts’ dedicated Family Business Team will be joining Paul from Family Business United to meet some of the region’s family-owned businesses.
Being a local family business since 1963 made Lamberts a perfect candidate for the tour, so Birketts and Family Business United were keen for us to be involved in the East Anglian leg of the Road Trip. Lamberts was thrilled to be involved in this event.
Family Business United’s Paul Andrews, along with Jennifer Leeder, Legal Director for Birketts’ Family Business Team, met with Lamberts joint Managing Directors Trina Beare and Neill Ives at our HQ in Norwich, to chat about the Lamberts story and to reminisce on the early days of business and how things have changed over the years.
The Road Trip’s week in East Anglian also saw several networking dinners, at one of which Trina spoke to the guests about leading the business as a third-generation female family member.
Lamberts success as a family business
At Lamberts we know only too well the importance that strong family values can play in the success of a business. Our current Managing Director Trina Beare is the third generation of family management, following in her father Tim Beare’s footsteps. His father, Henry Beare, founded Lamberts in 1963 and we have recently celebrated our 60th anniversary.
Trina’s top five reasons why family businesses are so successful.
Being an independent business means that you can react quickly to challenges by making and acting on decisions at speed.
Working as part of a small, close-knit organisation offers an environment that nurtures clear communication from management. Staff feel valued and engaged meaning loyalty is high. Over 50% of our team at Lamberts has been with us for 20 years or more and has over 400 years of combined service.
Customer loyalty is high when a business has been in the same family for multiple generations. The customers know who you are, often personally, so keep coming back, while recommending you to their own family and friends. Trust in the reliability and quality of products and services comes when customers know that they are, and always have been, the top priority of a business and that they are in safe hands.
Over the years you become a part of the local community, building relationships and trust with local people and customers. They want to see you succeed and invest in your success by using your products and services.
Multi-generational family businesses will have weathered many storms so can call on previous situations and challenges in the history of the business for advice and guidance. The foundations put down by the generations in the past help to sustain the business for the future.
For more information about Lamberts and the products we offer, please visit lamberts.co.uk