Running a family business with Richard Kuipers of Two Men and a Truck Australia
This episode of Enterprise Radio is in association with eAustralia (Australian Entrepreneurs).
Listen to interview with host Eric Dye & guest Richard Kuipers discuss the following:
- Where and how did the business start?
- How has the business changed since you started it?
- What are some challenges of a family business and how are they addressed?
- How diverse are the staff at Two Men and a Truck Australia?
- What is the business doing for sustainability, the community and the future?
- What are some of the main strengths of the business?
TIP: Separate family and business matters: Have a clear structure to deal with both. Inevitably, business issues such as company roles, wages and dividends, become blurred with family politics.
Founder Richard Kuipers started the home removals and business relocation business from his lounge room more than 30 years ago. Now the business has over 200 permanent employees and contractor servicing every state of Australia. Richard’s daughter Catherine has now become the CEO of the Company.
Richard is now beyond retirement age but reassures his family, friends and colleagues they won’t catch him gardening or watching daytime television. “I don’t drive trucks any more and it’s been a while since I lifted a piano over a balcony. But I still love going to work,” he says. But nor will you hear him or his family members describing family business as an easy career option. “It has its unique challenges which anyone in a family business would know,” says Catherine.
“It’s very hard to separate personal from business… so sometimes there are a few heated arguments in the office.” Richard says the best asset for any family businesses is clarity. “The rules have to be set clearly and precise. Everyone in the family has to know where they stand and their responsibilities,” he says.
However, the company’s success of keeping many of its staff members over 10 years is testament to the management and the culture of the business. “Even now that we’ve had to bring so many outsiders to fill all the needs for the company, everyone’s still part of the family,” Catherine says. “I think the key the reason people stay so long is that they feel a part of it.”