The Kingsgate Family Tree – Benefits & Pitfalls

September 27 2021

We talk about our Kingsgate Family often; it is part of our culture and shapes how we run our business. The “Kingsgate Family” comes not only from being family-owned for three generations but from being such a small company for 28 of our 35 years in business. In the past few years, Kingsgate has grown immensely, but we remain a family-owned business – that comes with highs and lows (trust me).

Today on National Family Day is the perfect time to look at our family tree, especially with four members of the third generation of Beckham/Barnetts to be working for the family business! It’s funny because looking back, when my parents first started Kingsgate, we operated all aspects of a 3PL with only four people. Since expanding, things have changed immensely but being family-owned has its benefits:


This has shaped our internal company culture. We treat people like family– regardless of if they are blood relatives or brand new employees. Working with family begets a level of comfort and this has impacted how Kingsgate has developed throughout the years. Our employees are co-workers and friends, siblings, nieces/nephews, aunts/uncles and family outside of work.


Having a family-owned business for an extended time helps a company learn from changes to the industry and mistakes from previous generations. Some families pass down family heirlooms; family-owned businesses past down trade secrets and customer relationships.


Despite these benefits, there are difficulties that come with family-owned companies. Problems arise both at home and in the office and there’s a fine line between balancing the two. Here are some of the pitfalls that family businesses face:


As I said, having a family-owned business creates a relaxing environment but a business with more relaxing than working will hinder success. In addition, hiring friends and family can be tricky if issues arise, if their employment is terminated or they aren’t hired on at all. It is also extremely problematic if promotions are family-based and not performance-based.


Life has its fair share of problems and conflicts both at home and work, but what happens when you go home to the person you work with? In a family-owned company, it’s essential to leave work problems at work and home issues at home. If not, the business is hindered and personal relationships are jeopardized.


Owning a family business has simultaneously been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever done (second to raising my kids). Kingsgate has reaped the benefits and faced the challenges that come with a family business. Throughout our 35 years, we’ve surrounded ourselves with external partners and created a business plan that separates our business success from our family ties. The Beckham family tree is rooted in our legacy and foundation. I couldn’t be prouder!

All the Best,

Jeff Beckham

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