Family business

According to a blog on the ING website family businesses do very well. (ING is a dutch bank).

That’s very nice to read, because we are a family business.

That is to say: we are a family, moved to Portugal, and set up a business. That is 16 years ago, and parts of the family business have become a lot bigger during these years.

Literally.

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We began small ...

We have a branch in the Netherlands as well now

This means that the oldest son went to study in Rotterdam – back home, so to speak.

From there he sends regularly long mails with good advice, dito ideas and financial tips because his economic insights are growing rapidly.

We may benefit from his increasing economic insights as the mother company.

You can take the last term literally as well.

Short lines

An explanation for the smooth conduct of family businesses has to do with the short lines there. Listed companies usually require a large amount of initials before an acquisition is approved. Family businesses are a lot faster because the director is often (co-)owner of the company.

The youngest son is the short line that remained in the mother company. He is working on his future, and in our company.

The planning is indeed usually very short. The work is normally quite obvious – when guests will arrive, the room must be cleaned; if a fosset doesn’t work, it needs to be repaired or replaced; if the donkeys are braying, they like to go to the meadow to graze.

If we are going to improve anything, renovate, alter or otherwise adjust, and it involves woodwork, electricity, carpenting, sawing, cementing or plastering, then the youngest tends to have a good idea.

And I always listen to good ideas.

The beauty of it is, I think, you gradually find that they are involved

They are thinking about how things should happen. They grew up in all this, they know the ins and outs, and they want it to continue to go well.

Well stuffed safe

First of all, lots of family businesses with their conservative dividend policy, have a well-stocked safe. The profit is often pumped back into the company. Earlier ING Research shows that a third of the interviewed families invest all of their profits in the company.

For us, this last sentence is completely true. Everything that has been gained in recent years, flowed back into the business. Probably because that business is your life.

Literally.

We not only are a family business, but we live in our work!

Pleasant, never trouble with traffic. Sometimes less pleasant, because almost never free from work. But well, all forms of life have a downside, and this is ours.

Upscaling

Finally, scaling plays a role. Many family businesses must compete in niche markets with the bigger boys. So they need to grow to survive. It’s to eat or to be eaten. A strategy focused on growth is therefore obvious.

There is a limit to our growth, though. We offer a place like home, cosy, friendly, personally, originality, creativity, space, peace and quiet. With that package you are confronted with limits to the growth. No problem. We prefer quality over quantity.

We don’t want to do the Peter principle.

Termas da Azenha already is a little village, we can’t grow much bigger. But we can go on improving the thing we already do well: receive our guests in a very hospitable way.

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Parts of the family business became bigger (but still don't like to pose) ....

The italicized pieces are taken from the blog on the ING website, written by Katinka Jongkind. Thanks for the input, Katinka Jongkind, it was an inspiration!

It is written in dutch, so it’s no use to put a link here to that blog, but we found something else if you’re interested in reading more about family businesses.