The release of the 2018 European Family Business Barometer shows key similarities and differences between European and Australian family businesses.
Published by KPMG Enterprise and European Family Business (EFB), the Barometer surveyed 1,576 family business executives in 26 countries across Europe.
The findings show:
Most countries in Europe are positive about their future but confidence dropped from 83 percent in 2017 to 68 percent in the UK this year. Ongoing Brexit negotiations mean that UK family businesses are looking to the future cautiously. However:
In the 2018 Family Business Australia Survey, the top financial objectives of family businesses, like their European counterparts, were sales and growth, profitability and profit margins, and return on investment. Of those surveyed:
It’s clear that in Australia, issues such as the rising costs of doing business, disruption and competition, the need to innovate and invest in technology, are similar to European family business concerns.
But Australia is operating from a platform of relative stability, meaning that the outlook for international expansion remains more positive. Nevertheless, according to the 2018 Survey, family enterprises still need to address a number of key issues.
Lack of planning and internal conflict appear to be the greatest barrier to success.
The Survey shows that families with a shared understanding of the future of the business and who build strong communication frameworks both within the family and the business, are more likely to succeed into the long-term.
A focus on training, mentoring and developing the next generation for leadership is absolutely critical. Governance frameworks must also be put in place to ensure the interests of the family and the business are secure for the future and understood by all involved.
If you do this, there is every reason to be optimistic – whichever continent you live in.
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