SMEs Benefit From a Family Hire

By Hiscox, PRNE
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Small Businesses Recruit Family Because They Trust Relatives and Know They Will Work Hard

LONDON, April 6, 2011 - Research out today of 1,000 small business owners found that over a fifth
(21%)* employ a family member and of these 43% cited the downturn as a reason
for recruiting a relative. This was a positive move as 94% believe that a
family hire benefits their businesses.

Trusted experience

The study by specialist SME insurer ( Hiscox found that, when asked
about the main advantages of employing family members, over half (57%) said
it came down to trust, followed by reliability (45%), relevant experience
(40%) and simply knowing that their family members "will work hard" (44%).
Surprisingly only 16% said they chose to employ a relative to actively create
a recognised family brand.

Nearly a third (30%) of family run businesses chose to employ a relative
to help them find work and just over one in ten (11%) said it was to help
those who had been made redundant.

"The silver lining of the tough financial climate has been the discovery
of the 'family talent pool'. The trend of SMEs turning to trusted family
members who may be available and have the right experience has strengthened
their businesses," comments John Heaney, SME insurance expert at Hiscox

Risky business

While the research reveals the benefits of employing family members, it
also acknowledges the risks. Almost half (43%) of SME owners believe there is
a danger associated with keeping home life and work life separate when
becoming your nearest and dearest's boss and a quarter (25%) thought it would
bring family politics into the business.

"Understanding the risks to your business means that you can put
strategies in place to ensure they don't become a problem. For example, think
about succession planning and set out a long term strategy so all employees
within your company are clear on their role and expectations for the future,"
comments John Heaney.

Brothers with the edge

Oliver Bolland recently set up Jool Edge, a design and marketing
consultancy, with his brother Josh in the hope that one day, their company
will be able to support the rest of their family. Bolland explains, "My
brother and I realised that by combining our design and web programming
skills, we had the knowledge and experience to set up Jool Edge. It felt like
a natural progression for us to work together - Josh and I know each other's
strengths and weaknesses, we can be honest with each other and we can really
trust each other to make this business work, as ultimately we want our whole
family to benefit from its success."

Grant Gordon, Director General of the Institute for Family Business,
said: "Family firms are a proven breeding ground for entrepreneurship and
working in a family business encourages greater resourcefulness as well as
teaching family members valuable lessons."

"Overall the family business sector has weathered the recession well and
fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship in family members should ensure these
firms remain competitive as we emerge from the downturn."

Hiscox insures more than 100,000 small businesses in the UK, offering a
range of business products including public liability insurance
( and
professional indemnity insurance (

Notes to editors

* Research of 1,000 SME owners was carried out on behalf of Hiscox by
RedShift from 23 November to 5th December 2010

Case study available upon request: Oliver Bolland at Jool Edge

About Hiscox

Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is headquartered in Bermuda
and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main
underwriting parts of the Group - Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Europe
and Hiscox International. Hiscox London Market underwrites internationally
traded business in the London Market - generally large or complex business
which needs to be shared with other insurers or needs the international
licences of Lloyd's. Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe offer a range of specialist
insurance for professionals and business customers, as well as high net worth
individuals. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda, Guernsey
and USA. Hiscox Insurance Company Limited, Hiscox Underwriting Limited,
Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited and Hiscox Syndicates Limited are
authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

For further information, visit

Hiscox Ltd, Johanna Boland, Group Communications, +44(0)20-7448-6494, johanna.boland at; Lexis Public Relations, Emma Robertson, Press Office, +44(0)20-7908-6469 erobertson at; Sirina Parr, Press Office, +44(0)20-7908-6481, sparr at

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