Jun 2021
Can We Relate? Lessons From Family Business Success
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There’s something a bit special about family run businesses. Passing down a legacy to the next generation or sharing the reins with a family member are proven ways to nurture passion, skill, and natural talent. Carbon Thinking has picked up a few insights about family business from its work over the years with a wide range of family owned and run SMEs. The secret? Build your long-term success by fostering and delivering a ‘can do’ attitude for both clients and staff…



It’s more than just a fuzzy feeling. The stats add up. Research from the Institute for Family Business (IFB) shows that family firms are growing turnover and boosting staff levels faster than the rest of the private sector.

And it’s not just the big, old names like J Sainsbury’s or Dyson who are contributing to this growth. In fact, over half of small businesses are family run or owned. First generation, family-run SMEs employed 6 million people in the UK in 2018, a 9% rise from 2014.

So why do family businesses have so much potential to grow? Put simply, they are in it for the long haul. When asked to explain what drives them, most say it’s about creating a sustainable long-term income stream, growing and preserving family financial and emotional wealth, and creating opportunities for the next generation.

This long-term focus drives family businesses to build valuable relationships with staff as well as clients. Job satisfaction is higher in family businesses  – staff say their managers listen to them, deliver on promises, and give them influence over their jobs. As a result, they feel more loyal towards the business and have a greater sense of job security.


Carbon works with lots of SMEs because we admire their passion, their courage, and their commitment to building strong relationships.

Family run ventures work by creating a community of staff and customers who truly care about their mission. At Carbon, we’ve learned to do the same. You too can build sustainability at the heart of your business. You can encourage your employees to develop and grow. You can listen to their suggestions and support them through their problems and challenges.

When the people you work with feel valued, they can see themselves working with you for years to come.

So next time you are asked “is this possible?” channel that family feeling and do everything in your power to answer “yes”. Remember – it’s an investment in your mutual hopes and dreams. And in the future of your business.