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PwC: Next generation of Australian family businesses has few plans

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

Globally family businesses are thriving and Australia is no exception according to a new PwC global survey of close to 2000 family businesses.

Like their global counterparts, family businesses in Australia perceive staff recruitment to be their most significant internal challenge in the next 12 months. Externally both in the short and long term, the most significant challenge raised was economic conditions.

Other longer term external challenges Australian family businesses perceived to be high were competition (56%) and the need to continually innovate (54%). These concerns, like economic conditions, are shared among family businesses globally.

However, there is strong sentiment from 74 per cent of Australian family businesses, that the Government doesn’t help them to grow and develop. While a common theme globally, Australian family businesses were less likely than other countries to feel that the government recognises the importance of family business.

According to the survey two out of five Australian businesses are looking to pass management down to the next generation, the remainder said they would float or sell (34%) before bringing in professional, non family managers (18%). The number one reason owners wouldn’t keep the business in the family was lack of interest from the next generation.

Family businesses believe their structure offers significant advantages and benefits, particularly their agility and speed in decision making, continuity and the ability to take a longer term view. They also believe they have developed a stronger set of values than other businesses.

Based on the survey results, nearly three out of five Australian family businesses also agree they are more likely to re-invent themselves than other business types. Similarly six out of 10 (64%) agree they are more entrepreneurial too.


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