Sometimes working with family can get messy, everyone brings their own strengths but also the dynamics within the family arise in the workplace…not always a helpful thing. That’s where Family Business Australia can step in! FBA’s core focus is family. They focus on helping families generate an advantage through support services to ensure the health of the family and the business. Their members succeed over non-family competitors, and non-member family businesses, which have not recognised the ability to leverage ‘family business’ as an asset they guide and educate Advisers who are seeking to engage and work with family businesses.
FBA represents the interests of family and advisers to family businesses, sometimes individuals on both sides are there for the wrong reasons and as such as an organisation they are required to make difficult decisions about how they manage those relationships.
“The genuine approach and community aspect that comes with family is second to none and how could you not get inspired by that.” States Greg Griffiths – CEO of Family Business Australia.
Greg’s experience in his individual family business in hospitality, (that didn’t work out as well as he was hoping) coupled with extensive senior management experience, focusing on marketing ensures his approach at the FBA is second to none! He was the group CEO of Dairy Famers Milk Cooperative & Australia Dairy Famers Cooperative; a 1500+ member owned business and in its heights, collected over 1 billion litres of milk annually, CEO of Destination Melbourne Ltd in the tourism industry and held GM positions at the Melbourne Football Club (AFL) and the Victorian Famers Federation as the Executive Sales and Marketing Manager. His time and skills and come from time, trial and error, he makes sure to surround himself with great people that he turns to for advice.
“I have made mistakes along the way, however the key is to recognise and admit when you have made a mistake, talk to others and get advice so it doesn’t happen again. I have a mentor and we talk regularly. I have also formed an advisory committee to help or guide me of specific areas.” Says Greg.
Growing up in a family business he was quite envious of those people who have the opportunity to work with their family, he just had to get involved. When an advert for the CEO position came across his desk, he applied, 3 interviews later with members of the National Board including a presentation member, he secured the role. He looks at the competitive advantage that family businesses have over their corporate competitors, as he knew he could help FBA’s members leverage that advantage.
FBA has a bright future and is on a journey of growth whilst ensuring their members are getting great service and value for being member. Talking to a lot of members, the appreciation for the work that FBA has done in assisting to be better operating families and in turn be better businesses is just awe inspiring (family business in Australia represent 70% of all businesses, employing 50% of the workforce).
The usual mechanism for referrals to the FBA is word of mouth, however, the marketing strategy is moving to a ‘pull’ strategy where social media, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn etc will play a huge role in allowing family businesses and advisers to find FBA based on a information topics of interest that are pertinent to them.
Every business would/should be careful of ethical side of what they do. At FBA, they have a Finance, Audit and Risk committee. A risk matric, is utilised and is reviewed on a regular basis, they never make a decision without the committee discussing the subject in length to ensure they have a balanced opinion. A number of policies and procedures are in place such as a code of conduct etc that helps guide the CEO and the board on how FBA and its members behave.
I would encourage any family business out there who want to learn how to leverage their family business advantage and are not members of FBA as yet, to call and find out how we can make a difference to them.