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Peter's #Thought4TheWeek -Is there a Haynes manual for family businesses?

Peter's #Thought4TheWeek -Is there a Haynes manual for family businesses?

As I write this, I have been opening lots of pressies for my birthday.

A lovely thing to do any year especially as this year is a special one for me. I am sixty-six years old, and I am now officially a pensioner!!!

As you can imagine I have received lots of comments from friends (allegedly!) about my age and questions about whether I am retiring?

Well, I can tell you that isn’t intended for some years yet….

I have a brother Larry who is significantly older than I (yes you know who you are big brother!) and we have for many years sent each other daft presents. Always for a bit of a laugh and gentle brotherly ribbing.

It’s fun and as I had sent a suitable pressie for him in May for his birthday I knew on this occasion I would be receiving something with a bigger ribbing.

One of the presents he gave me was a Haynes manual.

Most of you I am sure know that Haynes has been producing manuals for cars for many years.

Founded by John Haynes in 1960, JH Haynes & Co-produced its first workshop manual in 1966, and the guide to the Austin-Healey 'Frogeye' Sprite sold in strong numbers. During the seventies and eighties, we all needed a Haynes manual to spanner our cars as they fell apart very regularly, and I still have a couple of them today (ok for an MGB and a Triumph TR6 to be precise!).

In recent times they have branched out into using their name and essential layout, written by different authors on subjects from Roman soldiers to sex and much more, at least so I am told…

Larry sent me a Haynes manual with a difference written by the ex-head of Ford Motorsport Stuart Turner. It is a practical guide to Retirement suggesting what you need to do as your life changes, from financial planning to burials and many other very exciting subjects!

Yes, I can hear my brother laughing his head off as he sees me writing about such a manual because typically me being the younger one (I did say younger, didn’t I?) I have always planned for less than he. Frankly, he is far more organised than I will ever be, and I know there is a kind sentiment behind the gift.

And with a bit of ribbing…

What’s the point, Peter?

When we start a family business most people have very little knowledge of how to run a business. Moreover, even less know how to run a family business with its extra levels of complexity.

In at least two of my books Running on Empty and “It's a Family Business I have tried to give some ideas on how to make the journey of family business at least a little smoother.

However, to my knowledge, there isn’t a Haynes manual, a  blueprint for the family business. Yes, there are many books on the subject, however, I feel most are very heavy reading, certainly not fun and would put off most individuals for life.

Strangely enough, I have been thinking of producing a family business manual for some time now and have been collating a bunch of ideas…

To help me I have a question for you.

What one piece of advice would you give to anyone starting a family business with your permission I might just quote it…

And by the way big brother Larry (who I know reads my weekly missives) yes, I have hit sixty-six years old it’s true, however, you will always be my OLDER brother…

Just sayin’...

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Until the next time…


Peter Roper The Family Business Man

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