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president's letter
Fundamentals of a successful family business
Sam Bruce
NTCA President
Working with family is one of the biggest blessings in my life. I am part of the 3rd generation of the Martinho family tile business, and family has always been a big part of my life. The Martinho family has always been close and working with them keeps us closer. Every day I get to see my mom, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws. I don’t know many people who have this privilege every day.
Working together is more beneficial than challenging, since my family has always been hard working and they all have a good idea of what it takes to be successful. We all have a good value system and we are all push in the same direction working towards the same goals. These values add to the family culture that touches everyone in a family business, not just family.
Many people have asked, “How are you able to work with family?” I can contribute most of our success working together to accountability, trust, and respect for each other. Family members who work in a family business must be held to the same accountability (if not more) to their job as other employees. Allowing family members to slack or not be held to the same standard as other employees will lead to low employee morale and low performance by others if it’s not dealt with properly.
I currently have 20 family members that I work with in my family business; however I have even more family members that no longer work at the company because they could not perform to expectations. Firing family members – or any employee – is not easy, but doing so made it clear to everyone in our company that if you did not do your job or meet expectations you would be held accountable.
Recruiting and training talented people in a family business is not just about hiring family members. People who are not family can also add value and contribute to a family business in big ways. If you are a growing business, eventually you will run out of family. Finding the right talent for a position in need should not be limited to family members only, since this limits the businesses growth and capabilities. In many cases these employees become part of the family.
Lastly, trust and respect for one another are also drivers in a strong family business. When trust and respect is lost in a family business, the family begins to not work together and the business will fail. Not everyone will always agree with decisions or a direction that is taken. However as long there are trust and respect between each other, with everyone working towards the same goals and moving in the same direction, then success can be achieved.
Best to your success, Sam Bruce NTCA President