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Workshop launched to help Northern family businesses grow

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Darren Evans and Lesley Gulliver

Strategic brand consultancy The Engine Room has launched a new workshop aimed specifically at helping family businesses from across the North thrive.

The creative specialists will open the doors of their freshly-converted York Mills HQ in Mirfield (West Yorkshire) on 20 November, to hold this practical half-day session.

Inviting mid-senior level decision makers from family-run start-ups through to established multi-generational family businesses, the workshop will explore how to leverage deep-rooted family values to fuel organisational development. The aim is to empower such companies – large and small – to harness the opportunities that come with a changing economic climate, so that they can continue to grow.

“The role of the bloodline should not be underestimated in family firms,” explains Darren Evans, The Engine Room’s founder and design director. “It is usually the bedrock of a brand that drives a deep-rooted sense of purpose, a strong team dynamic and a feeling of togetherness which corporate-led entities struggle to emulate.

“A bloodline therefore often acts as a key differential in a competitive marketplace and can prove crucial to business longevity and growth. But sometimes engrained values make family-run organisations resistant to change, and cultures sometimes start to waiver if the company passes from generation to generation.”

“It’s our job to help evolve the DNA of a family business so that – rather than it becoming diluted – it can prove the springboard to greater innovation, increased sales and reputation continuity,” elaborated Lesley Gulliver, managing director of The Engine Room. “We’re therefore looking forward to sharing 50 years’ of combined experience working with family firms, so that organisations without a brand partner can unlock the same successes.”

The idea for the workshop follows the recent publication of The Engine Room’s white paper – The evolution of a family business: A guide to using brand to boost sales – which has gone on to be the consultancy’s most popular resource download to date.

“The paper talks readers through the evolution of an eighth-generation company which dates back to 1832, the role that brand has played in the global expansion of scalp-cooling specialist Paxman, and the story – so far – of a much younger husband-and-wife-owned venture,” concluded Darren. “But we recognise that some people would rather meet in person to get ‘hands on’ with a topic, rather than finding the time to digest a detailed white paper. That’s the rationale behind this event.”

The practical workshop will run from 09:00-13:00 on 20 November and costs £200 to attend including lunch and refreshments. Pre-registration is essential.