Keep­ing it in the fam­ily

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - BUSINESS -

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.

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