Peter Roper The Family Business Man
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Peter's #Thought4TheWeek - Family businesses are in a constant race

Peter's #Thought4TheWeek - Family businesses are in a constant race

Two things I took notice of in the last few days…

Firstly, the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone. Ok, you might not be a petrol head, but this was a big event with over 400,000 attendees over the weekend. There is always a lot of nostalgia at the event and this year four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel delighted the crowd with a demonstration of Nigel Mansell’s old 1992 championship-winning car, the Williams FW14B (which Sebastian bought for an undisclosed amount … it would have been a lot!).

If you haven’t seen it in action here is a short clip – it revived Mansell Mania for the weekend which I am sure many of you recall from those times some thirty years ago.

The great thing about our local lad Nigel was he never shied away from reminding you he was in a race and still does having built more than one family business. Such are Formula One drivers – always racing…

Secondly, I read a set of independent figures regarding supermarkets.

In these cost-conscious times and in a highly competitive market it would seem (no surprise to me) that Aldi and Lidl are the top two cheapest supermarkets followed by Asda and Tesco, with the others way behind.

Frankly, if you look closer you will see this has been the situation for some time. PLUS, Aldi and Lidl (family-held businesses) have also been winning awards for quality and availability.

I have said for some years now that we would see this shift in the retail sector and because we are all feeling the pinch it is becoming more and more obvious!

Now let’s be clear here… where you shop is up to you, but if it's on price then there is one clear set of winners.

But this hasn’t happened overnight. Aldi and Lidl have been quietly expanding their reach in the UK with many more new stores coming in the next couple of years. Whilst the other supermarkets were playing games against each other, they have allowed two aggressive businesses to come into the market and they are now reaping the results of their efforts.

Business is a tough gig.

Family Businesses are, in my opinion, an even tougher gig.

What’s the point, Peter?

One key equation to running a successful business is to understand this:

Nothing stands still, markets don’t, people don’t, governments don’t.

There will always be someone or some organisation that wants to do what you do, think they can do it better, faster, cheaper and be glad to take you out of the market...

– and they will say “it’s just business!”

And in many ways, they are right.

Except good family businesses don’t believe in dog eat dog, they stand for values, stand for doing what’s right, and doing things to the best of their ability.

Even so and with all that said plus all the attributes we bring to the table, we must also be aware when markets move.

In recent times Covid has changed things, post covid is a new and different reality with a lack of people, supplies and increased costs.

Somehow, we must make sense of it all and launch forward again because if we don’t, we will lose the race.

Be clear just as Aldi, Lidl and  Nigel Mansell know you are in a race, whether you like it or not!

The Family Business Practice is a vibrant learning and development community full of great people and businesses who in many cases give of their time and expertise to help others, PLUS do business together where appropriate!


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Go on you know you want to!

Until the next time…


Peter Roper The Family Business Man

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