From good to great

In September I discussed the Asian Rich List 2017, and how much Asian family businesses contribute to the UK economy- but where the entries of that list were mainly London-based, this time I’ve turned my attention homeward. It’s fabulous to see that of the KM’s list of fastest-growing private companies in Kent, 56% are family-owned; proving yet again that being called ‘the backbone of the UK economy’ is a title well-earned.

Over the last three years, the turnover rates of these family businesses are positively astounding across the board. Whether it’s smaller Kentish firms like Red Eagle Recruitment, Castacrete, or Lind Group achieving over 50% turnover, or those with triple digit turnovers, like Watchfinder, Simms International and Ovendens Earthmoving Company; it’s glorious to see the world of family business continuing to thrive.

The story of golf equipment manufacturer, Powakaddy International, makes for an interesting case of how much of a difference having family in the business can make. After John Catford sold the business off, it’s been passed around from corporate group to corporate group- and the lack of personal investment reportedly showed. It was only in 2012 that Catford’s son, David, took over that Powakaddy and turned their fortunes around: in the last three years, it has achieved a turnover of a whopping 501.3%!

As far as I’m concerned, the results speak for themselves. Family businesses of this calibre are top employers, recognised internationally for what they put into the economy- and in uncertain times like these, there are few things more vital. It goes to show that while corporate environments can certainly keep the lights on, as it were; it takes the personal investment of a family to make a business truly shine.

1. Powakaddy International
2. Watchfinder
3. The Specialist Works
4. Priority Freight Dover
5. Highway Care Group
6. P.A. Crocker
7. Simms International
8. GForces Web Management
9. Ovendens Earthmoving Company
10. Motorline
11. Elm Surfacing
12. Bates Office
13. Otford Builders Merchants
14. GKR Scaffolding
15. Sahara Presentations Systems
16. Rift Group
17. TCS Screeding
18. Clock House Farm
19. Lucas
20. Edward Vinson
21. Reliable Contractors Ltd
22. FM Conway
23. Cooper Estates
24. FGS Agri
25. Red Eagle Recruitment
26. Lind Group
27. Castacrete
28. Stewart Fraser