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The perils of family businesses – interview with Jacqueline Hall The perils of family businesses – interview with Jacqueline Hall
The perils of family businesses – interview with Jacqueline Hall

It is estimated that over one third of family owned businesses don’t make it past the first generation. There are many reasons for this but the most common being poor decision-making, resistance to change and new ideas, poor structure, inability to compete and acting like ‘families’ rather than a business. Jacqueline Hall of Dale Coaching helps these businesses to recognise these challenges and works closely with family members towards turning them around. www.ebonyonline.net caught up with the ‘superanny of family businesses’ to talk leadership skills, USPs and how to strengthen the Black business community.


EOL: Welcome to Jacqueline. Can you us briefly about your business journey to date?
JH: Thank you Tayo. I was a college business lecturer for 14 years in total. Through redundancy in 2010 I reinvested in my development, became a qualified executive coach, and hold a Masters in Coaching and Behavioural Change, First Degree.


Becoming a business owner was a desire that grew. A couple of years after graduating I started DALE Coaching Ltd.


EOL: Your core business is working with independent small family run businesses. Explain more?
JH: There are approximately 4.8 million family businesses in the UK that yearly contribute 20 per cent of all the government’s revenue. In 2016 the sector employed around 12.2 million people. So, they are significant, and their numbers have increased since 2010 by 35% and continues to grow.


What makes family-led businesses different are the deep emotional and historical experiences they share, and their bloodline. These have impact on their values, outlook, the business’s management. Their challenges include the tension between generations as they deal with integration and exploration of new markets and methods. Working with family business leaders to explore these areas is interesting.


EOL: What do you mean by ‘personal leadership’ and why is important for business owners to focus on this?
JH: Personal leadership calls for you to gain insight into how you do things and your own motivations and desires and dealing with those aspects that hinder your performance.


I’ve met business owners who’ve gotten in the way of their business’s growth because of how they managed their self and consequently stakeholders wherever internal or external.


EOL: Coaching means different things to people. In a nutshell what’s your approach to it?
JH: For me it’s about helping my clients to build on their successes, so they achieve their fullest potential.


I challenge my clients’ perceptions freeing them to generate fresh thinking, make powerful decisions, adopt new approaches and implement creative strategies.


EOL: What would say was your USP?
JH: My business brings ‘Healing, Wholeness, and Peace’ to the business owner, people running the business, and the business as an entity.


Healing is needed where relationships are fractured and affect business operations. Wholeness calls for decisions to align with core values removing incongruence and disharmony. Peace of mind frees people to give their best performance. Leadership that is in equilibrium makes better decisions that lead to growth.


I’m able to get to the heart of resistant issues that stop healing from taking place, hinder wholeness and are barriers to peace.


EOL: What are some of the kernels of experience you can share with a business owner looking to generate growth?
JH: Mapping out my potential client’s characteristics helped me to really consider at a deep level the value that I bring to them.


Networking is a long game. You and your connections go through stages in relationship development before you do business together.


To see business growth invest in it and yourself. You can’t expect people to spend their money with you, if you’re not the first to spend on your business.


EOL: What are some of the ways you feel the Black business community could be strengthened?
JH: Ask people to do business with us, rather than asking for support, which for me has a different connotation.


Focus on the customer’s journey and their experience, quality, and excellence in performance, as the pathway to growth.


Make your values clear, and align them with what you do, as this communicates a positive message to those who interact with you.


EOL: What have been some of your challenges during your business journey?
JH: The shift from ‘employee’ to ‘entrepreneur’. Having been the employee track for many years, I had to believe that a) I could be and entrepreneur, and b) recognise that I had become one.


I love what I do. Often what I thought of as just having short conversations, had been me giving away my expertise.


Not allowing people’s preconceptions of what a coach does to shape me. As I have grown in my practice, the nature and characteristics of my business has revealed itself enabling me to differentiate from others.


EOL: Finally sum up your service offer in a couple of sentences?
JH: I work with family-led businesses to build on the successes they have achieved, by reviewing their team’s performance, operations, and future growth plans. Through the Family Business MOT Diagnostics service which is operationally focussed, your Board is helped to make the decisions that will turn your business into a high growth company.

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