DIY Dynasty

Naomi Bulger meets some inspiring Australian business owners and discovers the benefits of keeping it in the family.

Families dominate commerce.

Since the dawn of trade, the family business model has been the oldest and most popular in the world. In fact, until quite recently family businesses were the only kinds of businesses – the term ‘family business’ is a modern distinction.

Philippa Taylor, CEO of peak body Family Business Australia, says a business run by a team of family members is both more resilient and more likely to succeed than any other kind of company: “A family working together has passion, they share a long-term goal, and they are able to make quick decisions and respond proactively to market forces”.

Indeed, family businesses outperform their publicly owned counterparts with higher returns on investment, better profit margins, more stable earnings and better cash flow and earnings per employee, according to research from the Australian Centre for Family Business (ACFB)
at Bond University in Queensland.

“Family businesses transcend all of the size categories, from the largest firms to the smallest firms,” says Professor Ken Moores, director of the ACFB. “The Packers, Linfox, Newscorp and VisiCorp: all significant family firms, both public and private, in Australia. And, of course, when you take it to the world stage, you’re talking about Walmart, Ford, BMW, Samsung… all of those are family-controlled companies.”

Case study 1: From potatoes to paradise: Pinetrees Lodge

Case study 2: Like father like son: Hire One

Case study 3: A good vintage: Brown Brothers

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