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Top Tips to Running a Family Business

MD, Tim Chudley's Blog


Family businesses tend to be led from the front by people with a deep emotional and financial commitment. We believe they care more than other business leaders and that this rubs off on the people they work with. The sense of belonging that grows in the best family businesses promotes happiness and job satisfaction - the whole team become part of the extended family tribe.

Family firms therefore have a unique opportunity for fostering meaningful relationships through their work and this leads to a wider sense of responsibility and caring about the performance and reputation of the company. If you can make that happen in the hospitality environment, service excellence will follow as night follows day.

So, what does it take to run a successful family business? How can you work effectively with family members to guarantee success? We asked some of the Sundial family members for their advice and top tips:

Tim Chudley, Managing Director

“It is vital to minimise the ‘us and them’ effect in a family business and work hard to keep senior ‘non-family’ employees empowered and engaged.  Act as stewards too; invest in your assets and your people. Show you care deeply and give all your team responsibility for the reputation of your business.”

Robin Chudley, Group Consultant

“I believe it is very important that when the next generation join a family business, to start them on the shop floor, unless they have relevant experience or knowledge to justify any other role. This way, they’ll get a true sense of the business.”

Jo Chudley, Marketing Director

“For me, the most important part of a successful family business is trust and knowing that we are all working together towards the same goal and share the same vision. Here at Sundial, we all know each other’s strengths and trust that each of us can bring something unique to the business. ”

Tory Darby, Non-Executive Director

“Clear and regular communication is essential. Differences of opinion will no doubt occur regularly, but if you communicate honestly and accurately with one another, you can avoid misunderstanding and confrontation, not to mention an uncomfortable atmosphere for your employees.”

Lucy McGibbon, Learning and Development Director

“Retell the family and company history and folklore regularly to establish a sense of identity and encourage all employees to join the tribe.”

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