Date posted: March 9, 2017

Family business


Debbie Burgess
Joint CEO/ Director
Bright Print Group

Business name
Bright Print Group

Business Industry/ Description
Manufacturing/ Commercial Printing

What generation is your family business? 
3rd

How many family members in your business? 2

What is your role in the family business?
Joint CEO with my brother

Who is a major influence for you in the family business? Why?

My father retired 15 years ago, however, I still maintain weekly contact with him and generally discuss what is happening in the business. Dad understands many of the pressures, although in his own admission things are moving so much quicker these days. In the past you had time to produce, now you are under constant pressure to do things quicker and cheaper, yet still to an extremely high standard. Dad usually brings a different perspective to a situation based on his experiences, which can sometimes be helpful in determining a plan of action.

What keeps you up at night?

I actually tend to sleep okay. If you have the right systems in place and employees who share your values and are committed, then the only thing to worry about is maintaining your client base. There is a constant need to ensure you are delivering the right product/services to the right markets and to stay educated. I have learnt over the years not to sweat the small stuff. Things do go wrong but there is always a solution – even if it’s not always pleasant. Often it just takes a good night’s sleep!

What’s the key benefit of your FBA membership?

The ability to meet others who are head deep in family businesses and to share experiences. This is all part of the education process. 

Family business adviser

Stephen Maze
Director
Hayes Knight

Business services description
Accounting and tax compliance and advisory for Family Business and other SME’s

Website
www.hayesknight.com.au

How long have you been working with family businesses?

My Dad had a small business in the 1980’s, so as a teenager I worked for him in the school holidays.  I joined a Big4 accounting firm in 1992 working with Family Business clients ever since, so 25 years now.

What’s one of the most common mistakes you see in family businesses?
There are a few.  Setting up with the wrong structure.  Not seeking advice soon enough (or even after the fact) for a transaction or major investment.  Not evolving internal systems when the business starts to grow significantly.

What is your “uh ha” moment with your clients?
You know those franking credits building up in your company?  Now you’ve retired we can get some of those refunded to you every year!