We all love a business buzzword. In recent years we have enjoyed using our ‘phablets’, becoming ‘wantrepreneurs’ and admiring the endeavours of a new breed of intrepid ‘mumpreneurs’.
Well, now there’s a new entrepreneurial wordplay on the block – the Fampreneur.
As you’d expect – the clue is in the name. Coined in response to research from BusinessesForSale.com, the term describes ‘an individual who starts a new business with one or more family members’.
Of course, family businesses are hardly a new phenomenon – in fact, they are the bedrock of the business world, accounting for 66% of SMEs in the UK today.
But it is the sheer numbers of blood relatives who are starting up businesses together as an alternative to their exclusive daily grinds that has inspired the birth of this neologism.
‘This new breed of entrepreneur, the Fampreneur, is not a third generation inheritor of an established bloodline business. It’s someone who sees a new opportunity and recognises that the skills, trust and finance he or she shares with one or more relatives means their exposure to risk is reduced while the potential for success is far greater than going it alone.’ says Rufus Bazley, Marketing Director at BusinessesForSale.com.
The recent economic crisis and ensuing uncertainty has been a catalyst to the movement; the gloomy shadow of potential redundancy, wage freezes and restricted opportunities for career growth has prompted many disenchanted employees to dream of being their own boss.
And who better to have alongside you, than trusted family members?
Typically, start-ups have been the reserve of peer groups who meet at university or who find each other in work-related environments. Now, although not quite in the realms of Silicon Roundabout yet, the family dining table is becoming a growing forum for new business brainstorming.
The allure of higher incomes, greater security and more flexible working hours is obvious and in a survey conducted at the beginning of this year, BusinessesForSale.com found that 65 percent of entrepreneurs who expressed a desire to go into business with a relative planned to do so by the end of 2015.
75 percent of those surveyed are also prepared to, or are very keen to relocate in order to realise their lifestyle makeover.
Interestingly, these aspiring fampreneurs don’t seem to value family loyalty as much as experience and relevant skill sets. An impressive 96 percent of fampreneurs had at least a year’s experience in their chosen business sector, whilst nearly a third had over ten years.
‘You’d imagine the primary benefits of starting a business with a relative would be trust and the ability to work long hours,’ Bazley continues, ‘but a key finding is that the fampreneurs are also highly qualified for each job with impressive sector experience and general high-ranking corporate roles, making the businesses they start primed for success.’
However, the process of setting up an enterprise as a family also means that younger members have an invaluable opportunity to learn new skills.
One such family are the Barker/Coots who together have established ‘The Chocolate Wrapper’ – a business selling personalised chocolate bars.
In 2013, the family enjoyed a standard 2.4 set-up with two working parents and two teenage daughters.
As teenage girls have busy social lives and wardrobes to maintain, their parents Kath and Peter were keen for them to start paying their way. The idea for the business grew out of discussions on a family holiday… and a shared love of chocolate.
With Peter’s background in setting up and running businesses and current position as a partner in a growing global events business he was well placed to guide his girls into a
promising market. Personalised products are enjoying high demand at the moment and the family decided that chocolate bars ‘for all occasions’ was an un-tapped niche.
Their instinct was right and the business has gone from strength to strength, winning the Chamber of Commerce Award for ‘Best New Business’ in 2014 and entering the US market in May 2015.
Peter is pleased with how the family business has brought them together and offered his daughters opportunities that their peer group are finding harder to achieve,
‘The fact that we all have a part to play has been great and we fulfil the orders from home and discuss the business as a family. We wanted to give the girls a hand up as opposed to a hand out and I was sure we could find something that would earn them more than the minimum wage and give them an insight into being involved in a business without compromising their studies.’
As traditional and established routes into the workplace are becoming less vital than the right attitude and skill set (the expense of higher education compounding this trend), the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking in the UK – and, it seems, many families are making the most of the moment.
Written by Nicky Tatley, Chief Writer at BusinessesForSale.com, the market-leading directory of business opportunities from Dynamis. Nicky writes for titles across the Dynamis stable, as well as a number of other industry publications, both print and online.