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Plumbs Join North West Business Panel

Published by Joanna Whitworth in Events

Plumbs Managing Director – Sarah Page joined a panel of two other local businesses to discuss the dynamics of working within a family run business. 

 

"70% of businesses in the U.K. fall under the "family business" bracket"

This was the first event from the North West Family Business Association, and it's great that we could be a part of it. The session was hosted by Penny Haslam (a professional keynote speaker and conference host).

The session began with an introduction to the panel; Sarah spoke about being the 3rd generation within the Plumbs Company, working in each department at Head Office and eventually taking over as Managing Director in 2009.  She began by working with her family on the market stall in the early days of Plumbs history from the age of 10, and briefly training to be a nurse in her teenage years before starting her career at Plumbs.

Next we heard from Kit, who along with his siblings started the Seven Bro7hers Brewery, which produce craft beers.  This passion for beer came from their father who was a keen home brewer, and after Kits career as a teacher wasn't going to plan, he and his brothers decided to take a risk and begin their own company.  Today there are 3 active brothers within the company however he went on to explain that they all still input their ideas when necessary.

 

Image - manchestereveningnews.co.uk

The third panellist was Daniel Turner from William Turner & Son.  Daniel began working with his father at the company fresh from university. He is now the 2nd generation after the company was established in 1969.

Image - william-turner.co.uk

The session went on with Penny asking about the benefits and drawbacks about working within a family business..

The panel felt the main benefit of working for a family business was there was much more freedom to explore fresh ideas. One of the event sponsors - Gorvins Solicitors say this on their blog…

“Flexibility – Notwithstanding the fact that family business often stay close to the core of their business, one of the unique factors of family businesses is their ability to be flexible and react quickly. “

They went on to discuss how the culture of a family led business differs from other companies where the structure and departments may stop new projects and ideas from progressing as quickly.

Maintaining a good work/life balance was seen as the only drawback, as it can be easy to carry on the discussions about the day when you leave the office.  A member of the audience asked if the panel had any tips on how to combat this, Sarah Page expressed that she allows herself half an hour at the end of each work day to discuss any issues and then that's it – her family must switch off from the work and concentrate on home life.

One of the other major topics Penny covered was the route in which they saw their company’s going, and whether they had any plans on succession within the family.  The entire panel mentioned that they hoped their children would join the business (if not already); however it was important not to pressure them about their future.

This morning was an interesting insight into how other business' work and how they plan to grow with their family heritage in mind.  It was also interesting to see how other companies in completely different industries worked when run by family members.

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How to create a dining room that will impress

With the popularity of cookery programmes sky high, the urge to have a dinner parties shows no sign of waning. While you may think the focus should be on the quality of your cooking, how can you make sure your dining room also leaves a lasting impression?

Whether it’s for a family Sunday lunch or a celebration dinner party, your dining area should be as dynamic as the food on offer.

“Just as we wouldn’t serve dinner on chipped crockery or wine in cracked glasses, we wouldn’t want to have shabby curtains and faded seat covers,” says Laura Calvert, Merchandise Manager for Plumbs.

The easiest way to achieve a chic look is with matching or coordinating soft furnishings such as seat covers, curtains, blinds and cushions – all of which can be chosen with the help of Plumbs’ Home Consultant.

Decide whether you like a formal or a more relaxed look in order to stamp your personality on your dining area.

“A look I love is when curtains, blinds, seat covers and cushions are co-ordinated sing a variety of textured fabrics,” says Laura. “It gives a really opulent feel to your interior.” 

Of course, dining rooms have changed radically over recent years. No longer a separate room used on high days and holidays, dining tables are now often being incorporated into the heart of the home – the kitchen. This means your kitchen/diner has to look its best at all times because it is always on show.

So how can you achieve an exciting new look in your dining area?

Plumbs offers a full range of loose seat covers which are practical because they can be machine washed or replaced when you fancy a new look. “With the huge choice on offer from Plumbs, you can match seat covers to curtains or try a coordinating look with blinds and cushions to add interest and variation,” says Laura.

If you’re planning to entertain for a special occasion such as Christmas or Easter, Plumbs’ set of loose seat cushions in seasonal colour fabrics such as reds, tartans and checks can give your dining area an instant fresh look to suit the season, says Laura.

If you have fixed cushions in your dining room chairs, Plumbs also offers a full re-upholstery service so your chairs are taken back to the frames, restored and recovered in a new fabric of your choice. With a huge variety of materials and colours to choose from, there is something to suit every style and impress your guests.

“We have a choice of beautiful plain and semi-plain fabrics that complement each other really well,” says Laura. “For real pizzazz, you can also use contrasting colours for a vibrant and contemporary look.”

Another way to add richness to your dining room or entertaining area is to focus on the curtains. In recent years, there has been a move away from pelmet curtains and towards a cleaner, pared down look among Plumbs customers.

“We are seeing a return in popularity of curtain poles and tracks,” says Laura. “Our most popular look at the moment are eyelet curtains with a metallic pole. This is a contemporary, clean look that works really well when the dining area is part of the kitchen.”

There is no need to compromise on luxury with this look because curtains can be teamed with coordinating blinds to dress the window and add layers of colour and texture.

For advice on how Plumbs can help you refresh your dining room or area, contact a Plumbs consultant to give you free advice and quotes.

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