Skip to main content

Navigating Success Through Generations

Lanes’ Executive Chairman, Jonathan Groves, reflects on taking over a family business and the lessons learned along the way.


At Lanes Health our vision is clear: to become the UK's leading family-owned supplier of branded household health products. We are committed to expanding our reach and impact while staying true to the principles that have guided us for more than nine decades. And in 94 years, we have learnt a lot about running a family business.

Invest in your business

The exciting opportunity within a family business is the ability to build upon the foundations that previous generations have laid. The retained knowledge and experience passed down provide unrivalled insight which can help mould future decisions, but driving innovation and investment back into the business is key to propel companies forward. Whilst it’s important to stay true to your roots – ensuring that your morals and company values still remain the same – embracing change and investing in new technologies to keep up with supply and demand are key. Don’t be scared by change, that’s probably what made your business successful in the first place, because you were doing something different.

Additionally, family run businesses have the freedom to be able to adapt quickly to the landscape around them without the sign-off, rigmarole or input from external stakeholders. In 2023 we launched a sugar-free Jakemans in response to those actively looking to reduce their sugar intake, and we’ve got some exciting new flavours in the pipeline. We also recently launched our Pro Plus effervescent product for those looking for an alternative to tablets.

By investing in this form of innovation, we’ve seen the business go from strength to strength and this dynamic way of working has put us on the path to achieving £50m turnover by 2026.

Invest in your team

Central to a family business is always the team around it, those doing the work on the ground and delivering the product or service to the customers. Never underestimate the power of cultivating a strong employer brand, this is how you attract and retain top tier talent who will be crucial to your business.

Family businesses are already at a strong advantage to attract talented employees as new research reveals two thirds (66 per cent) of people who work for a family business would recommend doing so[i]. This can be seen within our own workforce with the average length of employee service being 9.4 years for our Lanes site and 6.6 for our Jakemans site, with our longest serving employees being with us for 34 years.

A philosophy my family has always shared is the importance of investing in your team as this gives them reason to invest in you. And we’ve been doing that. Through mentorship programs, professional development initiatives, and a supportive work environment, we empower our employees to reach their full potential.

Invest in your future

As you look at the future of your business, it’s important to ensure that you:

  • Innovate. What might have worked for your predecessors may not work for your current business. Stay true to your values but embrace change.
  • Put people first. If you look after your staff, they will look after you and allow you to retain talent that can take your business into the next phase.
  • Look to the future. Make sure you have a clear vision that drives the direction of your business. A clear shared goal is crucial to future success.

[i] Research commissioned by Lanes Health and carried out by 3Gem – 2,000 UK respondents - September 2023

24th May 2024

Back to news