Family Business

Bringing outside work experience back to the family business


4 min




Listen to the Taylor family, a 3rd generation winemaking business family operating Taylor Wines, based in Clare Valley, Australia, explain why it is crucial for each next gen family member wanting to work in the family business to gain outside professional experience before being welcomed in. Preliminary outside experience allows the rising generation to develop skills, confidence and recognize their strengths before entering the family business.


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Clinton Taylor
I always had an interest in the business, but it was expected that you would go out and work outside of the company before joining, being given an opportunity and then proving yourself that you could make a contribution. There was always the need to go and learn things from other organizations and build up what you can bring to the table. Basically, go and get some experience, get a track record, test yourself outside. You know, go and make mistakes, go and have success, and do not all do it at Taylors. Have some stuff ups over at some other place rather than at our place and then come over a perfect, brilliant person to Taylors.

Mitchell Taylor
Dad was always very positive about my own career, always talked about business with me. He used to involve me in a lot of ... View More the family business things that were done, but he was also very much of the, you know, go out, see what the whole business world is about. While we would like you, you know, working within the family business, you have got to go out and explore some things. He encouraged me to, you know, go to university, always indicated that, you know, he had to work very hard at an early age. So he said, you know, there are some opportunities that you have got, so get out there and explore them, and also go and travel and see other wineries around the world. We had good connections with the French in Champagne. So he encouraged me to, you know, get over there and meet them and greet with them and, you know, do some work over there.

Clinton Taylor
It has been fairly tight how many family members have come into the business over the years, but we have all managed to pay our way so to speak. If you have got a number of members in the family working within the business, try and find your areas. We are doing that. We have overlapped a little bit at times with sales and what have you, but that has all worked quite well. But as you get older, and you probably want to get more responsibility or really run with something, it is probably good to see what areas you can all go individually within the company. And I think always look at your structures that you have got a good ability for everyone’s ideas to get heard and respected.