In each family business, there is a patriarch or matriarch who started the company, persevered, worked hard, and transformed it into a business successful enough that it perseveres through generations. John Roest is Radium Engineering’s patriarch.
Radium took root on John’s farm in 1965, when he built a cattle scale that would meet his unique requirements. Neighbouring farmers realised he had an ingenious idea and soon sought the same effective and uncomplicated implement to use on their own farms. John Roest’s cattle scale was patented, and in 1976 Radium Engineering was established. Today, Radium is a leading supplier of innovative and dependable farming machines and equipment, and remains under the leadership of Mike Roest, the son of John Roest.
With the help of Gareth and Grant, the third generation of the Roest family involved in the company, Radium Engineering has extended its supply of farming equipment to neighbouring African countries, as well as to farming regions overseas. Radium’s huge success in the farming equipment industry has contributed to the company’s growth, employing more than 100 well-trained and specialised staff.
And all this started with one man and his uncomplicated cattle scale.
If you’re considering starting a family business, like John Roest did, consider the wonderful benefits of working with your family.
A brilliant business idea can arise at any time of the day or night. Since you’ll be with your family members, together you will be able to strategise and expand on the idea immediately. The benefit is increased efficiency, which is very important for the success of any business because “time is money.”
Families have the same interests and business objectives. They want to achieve greatness together, so there’s no hidden agenda or office politics. That’s not to say families never disagree on certain decisions or business practices, but the end goal will always be to improve and advance the family company and brand.
Trust is essential for developing a business. For the most part, the people in whom one normally places one’s trust are family members. Trust becomes a key factor when a business agreement is in progress. You’ll want to be certain that nobody will divulge any information to your business competitors.
Running a family business means that your ‘employees’ or business partners will remain loyal. The saying, “blood is thicker than water” will really shine through, since family members are likely to remain united and achieve success together. Family members will be more committed to the business than strangers.
A family business has a leader, usually a patriarch or matriarch. The position of leadership is vested in this person over many years, unless an “abdication” is required due to illness, retirement, disability, or death. The patriarch or matriarch’s authority is rarely questioned or challenged, and family members know what their roles entail. The outcome is a stable and effective business that builds a foundation for future generations.
Family businesses enable flexibility. There will seldom be a family member who says, “That’s not my job description.” When a family works together, each member is willing to do what’s necessary to achieve success, even if it means taking on menial tasks. Family businesses may also be more lenient concerning work schedules and be more tolerant of personal crises. They may also be a bit more forgiving when someone makes a mistake.
Costs may be decreased when a business belongs to a family. Family members are more likely to understand when finances are tight and may be willing to opt for lower salaries to ensure the long-term success of the business.
Did you know that many companies that you may be familiar with are actually family-run businesses? These include top international and local brands.
International family-owned businesses
- New York Times
- Marriott International
- Estée Lauder
- Levi Strauss
South African family-owned businesses
- Pick n Pay
- De Beers