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Ky Valley Group - 3 tips to running a successful family business

  • By: Farm Tender "Prime"
  • Dec 08, 2017

Family-owned businesses account for around 70 per cent of all Australian businesses and Family Business Australia (FBA) CEO Greg Griffith believes they deserve greater recognition for their contributions to Australia’s community and culture.

“Most family businesses are Australian-owned and at a grassroots level provide investment, workplaces and employment which make our cities and towns thrive,” he says.

“There are half a million family businesses nationwide, so it’s fair to say a healthy family business sector equals a healthy economy.”

Family businesses are diverse – they come in all sizes, operate in all industries and have a range of operating structures.

According to FBA, they are often risk averse, have flexible decision making, a greater commitment to retaining staff and higher labour productivity than non-family firms.

It’s not often people like this are recognised for their tireless work and entrepreneurial spirit.

At the recent FBA Victorian Hall of Fame awards, Kyvalley Dairy Group was commended for contributions to their local economies and communities.  

Kyvalley Dairy Group is one of Australia’s largest family-owned dairy operations with a history dating back to 1857. Today the company is the largest bulk fresh pasteurised chilled milk supplier into South East Asia including Malaysia and Singapore and also exports fresh milk to China, one of the largest fresh, pasteurised, drinking milk markets in Asia.

Despite its success, the company’s current fifth-generation owners, brothers Peter, David and Wayne Mulcahy, have weathered droughts, floods, the deregulation of Australia’s dairy industry and the global financial crisis.

“Like the majority of businesses we have faced a range of challenges over the years but through the continuous review and revision of our business models, we’ve been able to adapt our business quickly,” said Wayne Mulcahy.

“Most importantly, we were united in our vision and used our collective abilities to work through the challenges together.”

Family business advice, from award winners

Wayne Mulcahy, Kyvalley Dairy Group

  1) Seek professional advice to develop ideas into a business plan. Ideally, find a business mentor to coach you particularly in the first few years.
  2) Ensure you have or can hire the different skill sets needed to run the business.
  3) Ensure have access to sufficient capital to start and run the business. It usually costs a lot more than you plan for.

Picture - Mulcahy Brothers