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Company Director, SVSR Pty Ltd; & SVSR Mini Crane Hire Pty Ltd www.svsr.com.au www.svsrminicranes.com.au
Independent of SVSR (the family business):
Entrepreneur and sole trader, focusing on health care. I created resources to help women and children experiencing domestic violence.
Within SVSR (Family Business):
- Within SVSR (the family business), we rebranded my parents existing manufacturing business. Registered as a new entity, while 1st generation handed over to 2nd generation.
- I purchased the business from my parents, to limit conflict with investors, & return their investment for superannuation.
- Professionalising the systems & governance structure, while still keeping brothers as employees.
- There were 3 siblings in 2nd generation, each managing different responsibilities in the business. Myself as sole Director.
- Diversifying, we registered & built second & third companies, as part of business group.
- Family conflict escalated, re: business management, leadership styles, future growth & direction. The result was family split, family business mediation, and much later, family reconciliation without business connection.
- Surviving through Covid disruptions – financial cash flow crisis; importing ceased; lack of steel supply; construction lockdowns; HR headaches with retrenchments, etc.
- Resilience through adversity, building a successful team to grow two businesses.
- Introducing non-family General Manager, and later, non-family CEO.
- Adapting the business and people into advanced manufacturing products & processes. Focusing on innovation transformation, growth, & collaboration, building internal capacity of systems & team; and broadening our range of products & service to customers across Australia.
- Introducing third generation family as employees.
Personal challenges in the Family Business:
- Entering the family business was not part of my life or career design. I came into the family business out of necessity, wanting to protect and recover it for the good of all my family members.
- This required self-belief and confidence in action, because of my limited business knowledge. I have invested time to learn (a very steep learning curve!) in a very short space of time. I've learnt in years what others invest a lifetime learning.
- Family members and senior managers diminished the trust I placed in them. It is challenging to run a business when those you placed trust in eventually prove through their actions they cannot be trusted, while simultaneously trying to move me to the sideline. It's sabotage.
- Balancing my life while turning the business around; finding time for
- Supporting my only child as she embarked through childhood & adolescence, with the challenges it brings to both. Fly-in, fly-out work. While living interstate as carer for parent with end-stage cancer.
- Caring for other family members.
- Looking after my health and well-being.
- My relationships.
- From a near-zero base, building respectful relationships with team members, customers, suppliers and other resources, e.g., universities.
- Redefining the term "family business", each individual family member has their own interpretation & meaning.
Personal strengths which can help small business:
- Emotional intelligence, balanced with business acumen
- Empathy with the struggle. (As daughter, sister, single Mum, & business employee/ owner).
- Experience confronting gender stereotypes in construction, manufacturing & crane industry.
- Understanding the difference: Working with family is not corporate. Emotional involvement with family employees means you'll need to share family birthdays & Christmas together.
- Ethics and values: Both guide me, and I will not abandon them or allow them to be subverted for convenience, fashion, fad or commercial gain.
- Faith: A belief in and drawing on something greater than myself.
- Steely determination and resilience: Often in the face of a tide of things moving against me, I believe I will find my way to a better place or outcome. Conversely, having a plan, I believe in and never quit until I achieve it.
- Care: For all people and things.
- Asking for assistance: I continue to build around me a network of people whose knowledge, skill and experience I respect and tap into.
- Curiosity: I seek “the why”, so that it informs “the what” needs to be achieved.
- Self-awareness: I share my authentic self and are comfortable knowing my character and feelings.
- Gracious: The way I carry myself - kind, generous of spirit, empathetic and compassionate.
- Open to the possibility: Despite self-doubt at times, I have an optimism that comes from being willing to acknowledge there may be other options and solutions.
- Resolve: Once I settle on a direction or course of action, I follow through.
- Teach: I have a knack for finding the teachable moment and teachable point of view that is right for each person.
- Willingness to share my journey: Sharing my stories and encounters so that others can learn from them.
- Bachelor of Social Work
- Diploma of Leadership, Australian School of Applied Management