In its centennial anniversary year, Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee holds the distinction of being one of few Canadian family-owned companies to reach the milestone and to prosper in the highly-competitive beverage industry.
According to Paul Higgins Jr. and Michael Higgins, co-chief executive officers, the company's overwhelming success and longevity can be attributed to a number of strategies and core company values.
Well-known as the company behind the Canadian favourite Higgins & Burke Tea brand, the brothers offer practical advice for family-run businesses of any size and tenure to ensure success in generations to come:
Nurture a culture of change as part of the company tradition – be innovative and don't be afraid to grow with the times.
Develop a clear-cut succession plan that is fair and agreed to by all – ensure transparency in the transition and have a strategy for business and family.
As part of a succession plan, develop precise rules and strategies surrounding the sale of shares, finance issues and payout structures.
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With your succession plan in place, publicize it and stick to it – people in business need to understand the changes clearly.
Develop and invest in future generations that are interested in pursuing the family business.
Keep communication lines open – in a family business you have to work hard to stay connected and ultimately maintain a family friendship.
Maintain your core company values – in times of change be true to your business' origins and values and treat employees with the same respect held for family members.
Mother Parker's recently welcomed a fourth generation of the Higgins family into the business and launched a major campaign to raise a million dollars for research into finding a cure for Alzheimer`s disease, proving that a well-run business that gives back to the community can be the best kind of family legacy.