Chamber Matters: Traditional Values
Published 30 Aug 2013Anne Macdonald, Chamber board member and Partner at Harper Macleod LLP, talks about traditional values in business.
"I think you will find, come the end of the recession, that family businesses prospered
rather better than many public companies," Roger Pedder, former head of C&J Clark Ltd (Clarks shoes)
In a world of modernisation, streamlining and e-commerce, it is important not to forget the importance of traditional values as the solid foundations upon which to base our businesses.
Some may view traditional values as outdated in a modern economy, but I am firmly of the view that qualities such as loyalty, longevity and honesty are key to underpinning a successful business. From that grounding, it is easier to look at innovative working practices that effect cost-reductions in terms of overheads, efficiencies in working processes and marketing activities - all of which enhance the service delivery without eroding the ethos of customer care.
Often these traditional values can best be demonstrated within the family owned business structure.
Loyalty sometimes appears to be an outmoded concept but it is one you will find in family businesses, from employer to employee and vice versa. This is so important in current times and has a direct effect on each of our customer bases. Continuity is not terribly fashionable either but I think it's vital and links into loyalty. Customers like to deal with the same person and develop strong relationships. From a business’s perspective, it’s incredibly important to retain your talent pool and thus the “job knowledge” and heritage of a firm - family owned businesses have this by the bucket load.
Having a long-term outlook is also essential so customers feel that you and your business are committed to them and the area that you service and that you are not out to make a "quick buck". The fact that many family businesses have personal resources invested in the business can often mean that they are more prudent and cautious with their assets; there is a strong desire to leave something for the next generation and a willingness to give something back to the community or environment in which the business operates.
I think the above values can be evidenced throughout the Caithness business community and much of this is down to the thriving family owned business culture.
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