Family Business Australia (FBA) and KPMG in Australia have been undertaking joint research – exploring the unique nature of family businesses – since 2005. For the 2013 survey, FBA and KPMG worked with the University of Adelaide’s Family Business Education and Research Group (FBERG) to survey 570 family business leaders. The results were then further explored through focus groups of family business owners in Brisbane, Sydney, and Adelaide.
Family business performance
In the 2013 survey, in addition to the usual focus on issues which challenge family enterprises, including governance, exit strategy, and succession, KPMG in Australia asked businesses how they’re performing compared to their key competitors, and how satisfied they are with regard to achieving their family-oriented goals.
Encouragingly, 83 percent of 2013 survey respondents reported that being a family firm assisted them in coping with the ongoing economic uncertainties. The majority of these family businesses also felt they outperformed their key competitors in a range of areas, including:
- product and service quality
- financial performance.
So what are the challenges?
Business owners are succeeding in achieving their family-oriented goals for the family company, which include providing personal challenges and rewards, family independence, and to enhance the family’s standing in the community. However, they were less satisfied with regard to the level of achievement of other family-oriented goals such as spending time with the family, increasing family wealth and quality of work-life balance.
The balancing of ‘family and business issues’ was seen to be the biggest challenge faced.
The infographic below highlights the key results of the 2013 survey, with a particular focus on:
- Competitive strengths and performance
- Satisfaction with achievement
- Family business issues and challenges
- Managing and resolving tensions
- Attracting and retaining talent
- Balancing family and business priorities
- Preparing to exit the business.