Top Tips for Success from Family-Owned / Small Businesses

October 12, 2021 Share this article:

Tuesady 12 October 2021 is recognised as “Own Business Day” - a day is dedicated to all independent business owners in the world to celebrate and pay tribute to them by promoting and giving them extra awareness. Our global partners from AltoPartners believe corporates can learn from the success of family-owned businesses.


1. Have “skin in the game”. Family businesses and entrepreneurs have often invested their own money. “Even when they have ‘deep pockets’, they spend their money wisely,” Thomas Heyn says.

2. Balance your active and creative contribution (the fun part) with the requirements of an evolving organisation. “If you survive, build and succeed as a business founder, you get the satisfaction of embodying your own ideas and values, which seems as important as the financial outcome,“ says Jana Martinova.

3. Be lean; forget the ranks and titles, says Heyn.

4. Joo-Lee Aw advises being **open to new technologies or new ways of doing business which can accelerate efficiency, data collection and analysis.” Heyn says that establishing trial and error as a basic principle, along with rapid prototyping, mean that small businesses have a quicker time to market. The ability to take risks leads to fast decision making, he says.

5. Involve employees in your successes – but also involve them in risk-taking, Heyn says.

6. Learn from previous experience. Aw says that she spent good years working with companies across financial services, professional services and FMCG / food & beverages, etc which gave her exposure to a diverse group of talents, company cultures, businesses practices, processes, thinking etc – all of which have taught her valuable lessons, and shaped her into who she is today. And Heyn cheerfully admits that he and his partner “shamelessly copied” a previous employer’s way of doing things as an organisational and leadership model.

7. Be “equal opportunity revenue acceptors”, which means taking on crazy projects. “Never be too proud or too full of yourself,” advises Heyn.

8. Create a culture for success - Albert Froom advocates for mutual trust and shared values as cornerstones of a stong company culture that promotes teamwork and shared responsibilities