Father’s Day the chance to recognise the importance of father and child businesses

Family businesses make up about 70 per cent of all businesses in Australia. And 89 per cent of these family businesses are run by father and child teams. With Father’s Day being celebrated on 5 September, it is worth recognising the important role these father and child businesses play in our economy.

One such business is Auto One, an automotive aftermarket business with many family-owned franchisees. Auto One Midland, in Perth’s eastern suburbs, is run by father, Jeff, and his son, Chris.

“My father started the business 30 years ago but I became a partner in early 2010,” Chris says. “I have grown up around my parents in the auto industry, so it was a natural progression for me to want to join them. That being said. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing but when the roads were rough it made our bond and business even stronger.

“My dad is my idol,” Chris adds. “We both have different motivations for work. He works harder than anyone I know to provide for the family, and I work my arse off so mum, and dad don’t have to work as hard. We work hard for each other.”

Home Instead is another business that comprises a network of locally owned and independently operated franchises, providing in-home care for ageing adults. Its North Shore franchise is run by the father and daughter team Jim and Pip Little. Five years after opening up, they now employ 11 full-time staff, 140 care givers and have recently expanded to open up another office, in Sydney’s North West.

“Being able to work with my father every day is a joy,” Pip explains. “Of course, we have our differences and there are challenges at times, but it works.”

Pronamics is an Australian family-run business that grew into a multi-million-dollar company. Glen Townsley started the company to give him a greater capacity to support his family, when his son was born with cerebral palsy. A decade later, Glen hired another son, Ben, to help run the business with him.

“The best advice I ever ignored was ‘Never hire family’,” Glen says. “Family is at the heart of it all. The company has grown from a one-man endeavour to a multi-million-dollar company with family values.”