Phone: 01630 415008
Company: The Wool Packaging Company
Job title: MD
I am Josie, and am Managing Director at the Wool Packaging Company (Woolcool). Woolcool was started by my mother, Angela Morris, around the time I left home for University. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength and in February 2014, I officially joined the team. When I started I made a point of at least understanding, if not trying every role in the business. My role is varied and I get involved in most aspects of the business, as is true of the Directors of most family businesses. On a day to day, I am charged with identifying new customers, working with current customers, managing our awesome Sales Team and working through our Marketing Planning. I am forever learning, and taking every opportunity I can to further my skills. The experiences this role is invaluable and I don’t believe I would get such an opportunity anywhere else
For me personally, FiB will continue to be my first point of call for any form of advice.
How long have you worked in the family business?
What or who inspires or drive you?
I am a big believer in never taking anything for granted or staying still/stale. I will never just expect something to happen, the goal is to alway be the best I can be, that drives me.
What generation are you?
What do you think makes a family business special or different from a non-family business?
Emotion and Passion. Every business, non-family or family, will show signs of passion and emotion. However, in a family business, emotion and passion can dictate a decision that otherwise would never have been made. These decisions may seem irrational to the outsider or an advisor who doesn’t understand the workings of a family business, but quite often it is that ‘gut instinct’, that ‘emotional’ decision these that can drive the business to the next level.
What, if anything, prepared you for entering the family business?
Personally I felt it was important for me to go away and gain experience in other businesses outside of the family. My experiences before Woolcool and after University have definitely provided me with a number of vital lessons, in particular in a rapidly expanding business.
What has been, or is, your biggest challenge for either you or the business? Our current biggest challenge is how best to manage the growth, while staying focused on our key goals.
Why do you feel a community and network to support family businesses is so important?
Family businesses are unique, having a community or a network of people who understand what it is to work with a family member, is invaluable. I don’t believe those outside of a Family Business quite understand the complexities.
What advice would you give to someone joining their family business?
I would suggest that they at least get an understanding of every role in the family business, this really gave me a better overview of the business and its day to day challenges. I would also advise to them to keep an open mind and always try and see a situation from the other person’s point of view.
What would you like to see change/improve with the service professional advisers (lawyers, banks, accountants, etc) provide to family businesses?
A better understanding that sometimes family businesses aren’t driven by reason. There are a number of factors at work in a family business, and there is no one size fits all in any of them. As a result, I’d like to see a more tailored approach by advisers, rather than just trying to sell ‘off the shelf’ so to speak.
What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing stops me from sleeping… although maybe ask me again in a few months!
What do you hope your legacy/or the family business legacy will be?
I hope that Woolcool will become one of the leading R&D led businesses in the world. Even as we grow, I do not ever want to lose that. Woolcool has the potential to save lives, our team want to fulfil that potential.
What do you hope to contribute/achieve in your role as a FIB Champion?
I hope to contribute advice and knowledge from the perspective of the new generation, of the group coming through into the unknown. FiB were indispensable through my transition into the family business and now I’d like to be able to help others, using my experience, in a similar situations, as it can be quite daunting.
What can FIB do for you?
Not only has Dani and her team provided me with trusted and experienced advice, but where needed FiB have pointed me in the direction of tried, tested and trusted advisors, saving valuable time and resources searching for one ourselves. For me personally, FiB will continue to be my first point of call for any form of advice.
What do you get from being in an Insight Group?
It allows its members to take a day to step away from the day to day grind of the business and take a step back. Sometimes its only when we take a step back, does the way forward become clear.