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April 28, 2021

Four signs it’s time to invest in a family business platform

Operating a family business today means managing complex tasks and relationships with speed and agility. However, the widespread abundance of applications and platforms designed to keep enterprises innovative and efficient can very often generate the opposite result. 

It’s estimated that 68% of the workforce search through 10 different apps every hour to find the best solution for their needs[1]. Yet, many businesses still spend an average of 120 working hours a year on administrative tasks they don’t have systems in place to address[2].

Family businesses that attempt to simplify and streamline their processes often find themselves with an infrastructure comprised of separate solutions that quickly become muddled and disconnected, potentially leading to lost revenue or diminished productivity. The reality is that too many different platforms exacerbate the already challenging task of running a family firm and connecting with its stakeholders. 

For family business owners, recognising when to invest in an integrated family business platform is the key to heading off costly revenue and efficiency leakages, communication limitations and security failures. 

Here are four signs that may indicate that it’s time to make the shift:

1. You are worried about information security

As family enterprises grow, an increasing number of people become involved in the business, escalating email and messaging traffic while simultaneously jeopardising its security. Not only does an influx of stakeholders connecting through a mix of communication solutions exponentially elevate the risk when sending sensitive documents,  it also makes coordinating different members significantly more challenging and inefficient. 

As a family business owner, you need a clear overview of your organisation’s email and messaging security in a secure solution that ultimately provides confidence.

2. You are experiencing frequent communication breakdowns 

The larger a family and its enterprise, the more impactful the decisions and the greater the need to keep everyone well informed. All stakeholders require a communication tool to participate in the family business with ease – and, sometimes, urgency. 

Businesses can quickly outgrow the capacity of email chains or applications like WhatsApp to keep everyone looped in. Moreover, the different communication requirements in a family enterprise heighten the need for a consolidated platform.

The increasing complexity of decisions made by and for the business-owning family requires a comprehensive and synchronous communication solution. Whether you’re engaging with shareholders on wealth creation or communicating with family on personal or professional subjects, a transparent and safe solution that functions effectively and seamlessly is crucial.

3. Some of your family members are feeling marginalised 

Not everyone feels involved in the family enterprise as it expands and evolves. The hurdles this can create range from difficulties in getting stakeholder buy-in on strategy and goals to sowing discord and pushback among passive members. 

As companies age and different generations jockey for participation, divergent interests can develop and create conflict among emerging family members that feel they are not being heard. In times of crisis, it’s even more important that all stakeholders feel management is acting in their best interests and providing guidance that respects all differing views and positions.

An integrated platform creates a sense of community by allowing groups of stakeholders to participate in and stay up to date with various business processes and decisions. Even passive family members or those not fully integrated into the business can feel involved and respected when leveraging the advantages of a unified platform.

4. You are running out of time 

Employing different platforms and channels while continuously trying to ensure everyone has been communicated with demands time, energy and resources. The average worker, including those in family businesses, spends 28% of their workweek on email and a further 20% looking for internal information or trying to get in touch with colleagues[3] – a total of 48% of their workweek that could be invested elsewhere.  

Furthermore, a recent survey of business owners revealed that they believed email was the biggest time strain on their business. According to respondents, an average of 25.2% of their workday is dedicated to email, but only 9% of business owners considered it a “best” use of their time[4]. Using multiple email and communication platforms only compounds the time wasted.

A family business platform that consolidates the different tools that you rely on saves precious time, supports enterprise operations at their core, and aligns company and family goals – even in the most complex and challenging environments.


[1] https://www.techrepublic.com/article/most-employees-waste-32-days-of-productivity-per-year-on-bad-enterprise-apps/

[2] https://smallbusiness.co.uk/smes-still-wasting-time-admin-2540710/

[3] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/technology-media-and-telecommunications/our-insights/the-social-economy

[4] https://www.thealternativeboard.com/pulse-survey-business-leaders-productivity