As you probably know, Braunston Print is a family run business, and we were chatting the other day about what that actually means to our customers, as well as ourselves. It prompted an amusing conversation, as you can imagine, but it made us realise some golden nuggets too.
For us, the pros far outweigh the cons of running a family business, which is why we’ve been going for more than fifteen years. But what really made us smile, was the realisation that it also presents some important benefits to our customers, and we reckon that’s one of the reasons so many have stuck with us over the years. So, during these troubled times, we thought we’d share some of our positive thoughts here to hopefully lift other family run business owners and prompt some fun chatter!
The Braunston family approach to business
Our customers get 110%
The first thing we spotted is that we all treat it… well… properly… like a business. You’d think that was an obvious thing, but many people we’ve met networking over the years have missed that point, and sadly floundered on the way. Family does come first with respect to health, wellbeing, and balance, but those are things that all employees should enjoy in any business. Business decisions, therefore, have to be made with a business objective and our customers in mind… and ours do.
Thus, with that firmly at the forefront of our thoughts, we also realised the energy of our business is entirely driven by the united energy of the family input. We all put 110% in, but when one of us can’t – and life does present challenges along the way – then the support that we provide is doubled because we inherently understand the issues involved, and are able to provide constructive as well as loving support.
Our roles make great use of our individual skills
Understanding who is good at ‘what’, and is thus responsible for that ‘what’, plus when and how, is very much key to our success to date. We all have different skills and talents, and we are each able to take on certain responsibilities in the business because of this. Chris is Mr Creative and can put his hands to all practical aspects of printing; he’s our whiz inventor, engineer, and pump man. Kath is creative too but in a more artistic way, which supports the design and layout aspects of our offering; particularly as she can spot a mistake from a hundred paces! Jen is Mrs Target and gets great pleasure from ensuring orders are completed and out the door on time. And Janet is Mrs Glue; she really holds the whole thing together through admin, finance, sales and marketing. As such, therefore, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and that makes for a superb offering to our customers.
We communicate well
We’ve known each other forever – or so it seems, ha ha! But that does mean that each of us understands our individual role and responsibilities in the business. And being the family team that we are, we’re also determined to fulfil tasks to the best of our ability because we’re making great use of our personal skills – which we love to do. However, with that said, we also have a good understanding of the tasks the others have to carry out, so it’s easy for us to communicate effectively. And this makes for a very efficient and smooth service for our customers.
We love innovation and developing ideas
Ok, we confess, our business development meetings are often held around the dinner table, but we enjoy it. Really, we do! It’s a great time to share feedback from customers, discuss new ideas, and identify opportunities. Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a ‘Well done!’ shared over a pile of pasta and a cuppa. Mind you, on the days when we do all want to switch off, conversation can be a bit limited and we have really come to appreciate funny and interesting crackers at Christmas; they give us something else to laugh and chat about!
Customer service is key
But if, so far, this all sounds a bit obsessive, don’t worry – we do have our own interests and hobbies too; we’re quite well-rounded people really. However, because we’re running a family business together, it is something we have in common and thus it naturally comes up in conversation frequently. For our customers, though, this means we can iron out problems before they know they even exist, so it enables us to provide a very joined-up service. If one of us makes a mistake, it reflects badly on all of us, so we’re keen for that not to happen.
Anyway, that’s just a few of the observations we’ve had on running a family business. If you run one too, share your thoughts with us. We’ve all got a few tales to tell, and yes, some are hilarious! However, the benefits are often what make us sleep well at night… what do you reckon?
Photos by JPAD.CO.UK