According to the FSB small businesses make up a whopping 99% of businesses in the U.K. so you can see why this sector is paramount in the recovery of our economy. But it is a concern that many small businesses are struggling to keep afloat.
I’ve been watching the TV series The Fixer with Alex Polizzi, I love this girl, and the program highlights the many problems faced by the small business sector, especially family run businesses. One of the episodes features The Chough Bakery where decision making has become a real problem with in the family. Although the hierarchal mother tends to rule the roost when ideas are put forward to enhance operations there appears to be lots of talking but no action. This has lead to the business becoming stagnant and in danger of failing. Polizzi soon puts her finger on the problem and suggests designating one person to take charge of decision making in order to drag the business forward.
Another episode identified a similar problem in a family run furniture shop where the father was so stuck in his ways that the business had no chance of survival, with cash flow problems and a dropping customer base the business was doomed. Polizzi again to the rescue and the shop was dragged into the 21st century with the help of the poor son who had been under his fathers shadow for years.
I too have experienced this scenario, having worked with my father for many years getting my ideas across seemed an endless task of sub defuse to the point I would idly drop an idea in to conversation to see it re emerge a few weeks later as dads idea. This was nowhere near as bad a problem as featured in the programs as my father is a great business man and we normally saw eye to eye.
I don’t believe all small businesses have these problems but in these hard times we have to be open to new ideas and innovations to survive and move forward. The series to me does stress the importance of communication and embracing those new ideas whether from staff or family.
Alex Polizzi can’t be there for all of us!!
Take a look at the clip below.