Monday, September 21, 2015

Timeless Lessons From a Fourth-Generation Family Business

The Cassim family owns and operates Fashion House based in Johannesburg, South Africa. This family business is celebrating 75 years of supplying textile wholesale to resellers, along with ready made curtains and blankets. Mahmood (father), and sons Abu and Yusuf, shared the following lessons that apply to many family businesses, anywhere.

Planting roots has it's advantages.

The family business still occupies the same premises since 1940, although their facilities have spread over the years. They've taken over property both sideways and backwards. The family business was initially a retail store. They diversified into textile wholesale and eventually stopped the retail portion of the business.
"Staying in the same place has been a great advantage. Clients know what to expect from us. We've built up a strong customer base. We know what their needs are so we can service those needs," explains Mahmood. The same applies to joining the family business. Yusuf explains, "Things have already been running for so long. Systems and processes are already in place. You don't have to struggle as much."

Expand your horizons.

The blessing of running a family business can also be a curse if you don't grow. Mahmood explains, "The most challenging part of family business is that it can run so smoothly. Everything is set in place, and that can be bad if you don't challenge yourself and expand your thinking."
One of the ways to engage the next generation and continue to grow yourself and your business is to introduce new lines of business. For example, Mahmood introduced ready made curtains. He had to learn how to manufacture the curtains and wholesale them to resellers. He encourages families to expand their horizons in their industries to avoid getting into a rut. It's a cure for boredom.
Read more about this family business

No comments:

Post a Comment