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A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business

In this blog post, Mercury Security & Facilities Management’s Marketing Assistant, Chloe Crudden, discusses her experience working in the family business environment within Mercury Security & Facilities Management.

Family owned businesses often create connotations in mind; the small to medium sized business rife with internal conflict and squabbles, power imbalances, etc. Maybe I have watched too many episodes of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. (You know the one where poor Gordon battles to save failing businesses; many of which are failing due to the above issues).

Mercury Security & Facilities Management are a family-owned business with Frank Cullen as CEO and his two sons, Francis and Liam as Directors. Prior to joining Mercury, I had heard of the business. I knew it was a successful security company with offices in Northern Ireland, the ROI and the UK. With this level of success I had imagined the CEO and directors to be a certain way; the jet-flying, glass office occupying, aloof professional. (Ok- maybe I do watch too much TV!)

This assumption was shattered fairly quickly. I’ll never forget my first week at Mercury; sitting at my desk when I heard my telephone ring and I looked down and saw that the incoming call was from ‘Frank Cullen’. Was the CEO really phoning me? What on earth had I done?! Sacked already!

I braced myself and took the call. It turns out everything was fine. Frank had wanted a quick chat about something marketing-related. This was to set the precedent and I have had many chats like this with Frank during my time at Mercury; with a bouncing of ideas and chat about marketing opportunities. This transparency is one of the benefits of working within a family business; the ability to chat directly with the CEO and not have communication hindered from having to go through various channels.

This down-to-earth, let’s-have-a-quick-chat-and-get-stuck-in attitude is typical of Mercury. There are no ivory towers within this company and all senior members of staff are approachable. With some companies there is a hierarchal, ‘that’s not in my job description’ attitude among staff but this does not exist within Mercury. I believe this culture stems from the company being a family business where everyone puts all their efforts into meeting the business’ objectives. I have found this beneficial as it allows me to try different things and expand on my skills.

I have also found there is drive and long-term commitment in the business which is infectious and trickles down to all staff. This then creates staff who are enthusiastic about their role, believe in the business and are determined to succeed.

The unique thing about Mercury is that while it is a family business, we are all family here. I believe that this is one of the key successes of the company. As Henry Ford famously said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business”. I have come to understand that Mercury’s strengths lie not only in what they do for their clients but also in their ability to create empowered and engaged staff. In my view, this positive company culture stems from a business where all staff are treated as family.

What are your thoughts? Do you work in a family business? Have you had a similar experience?