In brief: Susan Porter


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With Yatala Pies general manager and second generation family member, Susan Porter.

I was inspired to start/join the family business because… 

My father was an entrepreneur and had a mother that always supported him. The inspiration to join the family business was their achievements. I commenced employment casually while studying hospitality and management at college. I learnt the business from the ground up. Once I felt competent in the business, I encouraged Mum and Dad to have a long overdue vacation and took on full-time management duties awaiting approval on their return.

The unique challenges faced by family businesses are…

As in all business, changing staff loyalties to new management. Maintaining family harmony and understanding the continuity of structure within the business is crucial. The structure of the family business isn't the same as the family unit.

The biggest reward of being in a family business is…

Working towards the same goals and being able to grow professionally together. 

In my family business, I am motivated by... 

The family vision to be innovative, technologically advanced and a state leader in the manufacturing of the traditional meat pie, cakes and pastries. Our family business takes pride in sharing the workload and enjoying what we do. Diversify and planing for the three generation is a motivation in this ever-changing world.

I see my business in the future…

As the family has decided to diversify to maintain interest and profitability, I see the family building on the already successful foundations and adhering to the family constitution and vision.

I am proud to be part of my family business because…

I feel that we learn from the generation and their advisers before us, and I feel that this lesson is the key to success. We have been taught to build a solid foundation, run it professionally and successfully. 

For other family businesses, my advice is…

To maintain communication through designated forums, document the issue and actions and act.

To me, a successful family business means…

A business that is run in a professional manner. It is important to have a family constitution. Creating goals, values, objectives and ownership succession plans. Designated communication forums with an independent chairperson are also important. The family has to know that it is of great importance to look outside the family for skills and professional advice. 

Structure, visions, values, missions, goals, strategies and objectives should all be documented and reviewed by the family members. 

It’s important to respect the individuals within the family as it expands to the third generation, and an independent chairperson is essential. 


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