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Edition 238 – Good News Headlines

The media is full of bad news about business right now. Firms shutting up shop. Big staff layoffs. Large corporates fighting with their landlords over rent reductions. Forced pay reductions in large professional service firms. Massive losses being booked. A new day brings another dramatic headline that is doom and gloom.

I’m here to tell you that, whilst that may be happening at the big end of town, what I’m seeing in the family business space is something completely different.

Last week I inspected the new, significantly larger premises of one of my clients. In just two years, they’d outgrown their existing facility and needed more room to take their business to the next level. The new facility is magnificent and could easily accommodate a tripling of their revenues.

In our discussions last week, we rattled off opportunities that are there for the taking. Sure, some of them are not easy wins. However, what was evident to me was, here was a family that was backing their family business, their 20 staff, their own family and their future. COVID has not been without its challenges in this business. However, we were looking beyond the now and into the future to see what opportunities were there for the picking.

Another family business client has just recruited a key member of staff to fill an upcoming maternity appointment. Even though this client’s business is located in Melbourne, the city suffering the biggest impact of lockdown in Australia, the new recruit was always part of the strategic plan to build capacity for future growth in the business.

By taking on this new recruit, my clients are saying they’re looking beyond COVID and towards where they’re looking to take the business, and themselves personally and financially. We’ve got plans in place and whilst this year has been full of speed bumps, they’re moving forward with the plan. Perhaps not at the original speed. Maybe not over the original time period. However, it is still forward.

These are but two examples of many that I am seeing in my own client base and that I hear amongst small and family businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are some businesses that will continue to struggle in the coming months. However, in my opinion, there’s a combination of factors at play here including:

  1. Whether you’re in the Essential Economy or the Discretionary Economy – see Growth Edition 216 – 1st April, 2020.
  2. Whether or not you have a Growth Mindset as a Business Owner.
  3. How diligent you have been over the past few months to bank cash and keep debt under control?
  4. What you are doing, every day, to cultivate relationships with existing and potential customers and clients.
  5. How you are communicating with your team, who are your key asset right now to help implement your strategy and drive your business forward?

I have said, since the end of March this year, that I’m incredibly optimistic for the future of family and small business. It is the economic backbone of Australia and contributes almost two-thirds of the nation’s GDP and employs 60% of all working Australians. They’re the quiet achievers that don’t attract the headlines. Yet, they represent the good news we all need to hear right now. 

Turn off the news and tune into what your colleagues in the small and family business space are saying about their businesses. They’re the true headlines we should be paying attention to right now.