Family Business United Scotland

Scotland’s family-owned firms will have a new opportunity to access expert advice on a wide range of business issues as a result of a strategic partnership between Craig Corporate and Family Business United to create a Scottish organisation.

Craig Corporate, which has long-standing successful relationships with numerous Scottish family businesses, is supporting Family Business United founder Paul Andrews in the launch of Family Business United Scotland (FBUS) – a valuable resource for family-owned firms of all sizes and sectors.

Family businesses comprise an estimated 70% of all Scottish businesses accounting for approximately 50% of all private sector employment and their success deserves greater recognition. Craig Corporate is supporting FBUS in acknowledgement of the hugely important contribution family-owned businesses make to the Scottish economy and to society in creating and safeguarding employment.

Free consultation and Helpline

FBUS has set up a dedicated Scottish Family Firms Helpline which can be accessed via 0141 243 4988 and is offering all Scottish family businesses a free initial consultation. Business owners are invited to seek professional advice on a range of issues including: succession planning, creating an exit route, skills development, funding, expansion and governance.

Join Scottish Family Business Week Nov 10-18 2015

The helpline is part of a wider programme of FBUS events which Craig Corporate is supporting including the flagship Scottish Family Business Week which will take place November 10-18. Craig Corporate will play an active role in a varied programme which commences with a launch reception in Glasgow on November 10, includes ‘Meet the Owner’ sessions and seminars and culminates in Edinburgh on November 18 in a conference with keynote speakers as well as a reception.

It will provide a valuable opportunity to network and share experiences with other family businesses from across Scotland as well as to gain access to experts on a range of topics to be addressed at the Scottish Family Business Conference. These will include financial issues such as extracting value when ownership passes to a new generation; people issues such as family and boardroom dynamics and attracting and retaining people from outwith the family; as well as broader issues such as digital marketing and growth strategies.

Family firms benefit from support to grow and develop through new generations

A study by Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh found that family businesses and SMEs in Scotland have the potential to boost the country’s annual GDP by up to £1.23 billion. It also identified a need among family businesses for external support to help them survive beyond first generation ownership.

Data shows that 73% of families want their business to remain in family ownership but in fact only 1-in-3 actually make it to the second generation while fewer than 1-in-10 survive into the third.

Professional advisers who have worked with a wide range of family businesses are skilled in helping to identify threats or obstacles to retaining family ownership and devising effective strategies to overcome these. Conversely, families seeking a partial or even a full exit from their business can seek advice on how make a smooth transition to new ownership in a way that delivers a positive outcome for all stakeholders.

The FBUS offering from 2016 will include a series of informative educational events to benefit Scottish family businesses, as well as their advisors. Details of the 2016 calendar will be developed and launched at the Family Business week in November.

Proud Scottish history of family businesses

Family businesses have a rich and diverse history in Scotland – the 25 oldest family firms have been trading for around 150 years on average.  Now in our own 30th year, Craig Corporate has developed extensive knowledge and experience of the specific hurdles and opportunities that face family firms and along with the key partners of FBUS are keen to ensure that family businesses are well directed through their own unique journey.

While some Scottish family firms are modest businesses, the size and scale of the larger family enterprises is on a par with publicly-quoted companies in terms of multi-million pound turnover, sophisticated global operations and substantial workforces.

Growing and running an increasingly large and complex business entails numerous challenges. The business may need to look outside the family for particular skills sets and experience which may demand a rethink on recruitment, reward and retention strategies in order to attract high calibre candidates.

Family firms may need a mediator or advice on governance issues to resolve shareholder disputes or they may need to engage a tax specialist to help with longer term business disposal planning or inheritance issues.

Whatever the business challenge is – understanding the underlying family dynamic is a prerequisite to understanding the boardroom dynamic – and making a meaningful contribution to business strategy. That is the kind of understanding that FBUS, supported by Craig Corporate, is well-placed to deliver to family firms throughout Scotland.

Ross McAdam
About the author

Ross joined Craig Corporate in 2021 having previously worked in audit, corporate finance and private equity. Ross qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ICAS) with EY in...
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by Ross McAdam