Keeping it in the family
THE UK’s three million family businesses are ahead of the field when it comestoentrepreneurship, continually innovating to pass on a thriving and sustainable business from one generation to the next, says the executive chairman of an Amersham-based firm.
UK family businesses, which employ more than 9 million people and generate a quarter of UK GDP, must have a longterm view: for family businesses, it is vital to both safeguard the longevity of the business while adapting to the changing climate.
For Campion Willcocks, a consulting and recruitment specialist for the financial services market, the family aspect of the business has been a lynchpin of its success since the company was founded in 1968.
“It’s one of the mainstays of our reputation. When I’m sitting across a table from a perspective client and I can look them in the eye
FAMILY VALUES: Mark Campion and say: ‘This is my personal, professional and corporate reputation I’m putting on the line – if I don’t get this right for you, it’s me personally as well as my company that’s going to be embarrassed’,” said Mark Campion, executive chairman of the company founded by his father, David, in 1968.
He adds: “After all these years, that gives me that extra edge and makes me try that bit harder. Prospective customers like that accountability.”
In its almost 50 years of existence, Campion Willcocks has eschewed radical changes for continuity while adapting to a changing climate. At the heart of a family business is a philosophy and approach with a broader appeal than other businesses.
For clients, the personal warmth and positivity is an added bonus of working with a family business. Mr Campion said: ”It’s about the pride that people have of providing the best products or services. Nothing beats the warmth of people who care.
“However, it’s essential for family businesses to have people who are nonfamily working with them because that’s how you revitalize the business: it’s how you bring in the expertise you need to grow and develop your business.”
He added it is responsible family ownership rather than management that is key.
For Campion Willocks, a company that supports leading organisations through change, the consistency of core family values is a hallmark of success.