After 79 Years of Family Tradition …

by Rebecca Pole and Justin Craig
Australian Centre for Family Business, Bond University

Business History

Whilst many viewed the early indicative signs of the Great Depression last century as insurmountable obstacles, true entrepreneurs like Harry Lea saw them as an opportunity. From modest beginnings in a street pushcart and barrow, his business, Darrell Lea Chocolates, was a virtual overnight success. A unique chocolate experience, Darrell Lea’s customer driven concept evolved from fulfilling a suppressed customer need in a time of desperation, poverty and grief. Rising in the face of adversity, today Darrell Lea is a 100% Australian owned family business icon with annual revenues of over $80 million, over 400 stores nationwide and a customer base extending over more than 14 million people. An impressive market share when the total Australian population is currently about 20 million. More…

Family Businesses Are Built To Last

Family Businesses Are Built To Last

by Richard L. Narva, Esq.

Some family businesses are built to last.Many are not.In my view there are two clear indicators of whether a family business is built to last:its balance sheet and its vision statement.My experience tells me that when the balance sheet of a family business is relatively unleveraged because the owners reinvest the bulk of their profits consistently each year, they are voting with their dollars to build a family business that will endure.I do not question the choice of business owning families who choose to maximize withdrawals of cash for personal consumption.I simply argue that their companies are built to serve the current generation of owner/managers–a legitimate choice, but one which is inconsistent with an enduring family controlled business enterprise. More…