Family businesses reveal top upcoming challenges

Family businesses have listed next generation planning alongside overcoming social changes as the major challenges that need to be overcome in the year ahead.

According to new research from Families in Business (FiB), more businesses have a growing mix of family members in charge, which is not without its issues.

A lack of succession planning is one aspect to consider, as nearly a third of family firms now have step-children or step-parents involved in the running of them.

This is a concern for many business owners, as 97% said they felt their firm lacked direction or a purpose, while 95% put a lack of future planning down to difficulties of finding a good work-life balance.

The CEO of the FiB, Dani Saveker, reveals there is growing diversity among family businesses, as 31% of family firms now have blended families working together, up from 25% a year ago.

These firms face challenges as a result though, as 66% said communication was a challenge, while 58% had concerns over succession.

Despite growing family ties, 63% of those questioned said that people care about each other less, despite being better connected than at any point in the past thanks to technological developments.

Three quarters of family business owners suggested that they feel not good enough to run their businesses while nearly two thirds admitted to relying on something in order to cope.

This could mean that their decision making and management is affected, which can have an adverse effect on their company.

Adequate planning and the sharing of responsibilities can ease some of the burdens faced, meaning individuals can focus on the finances and growth of their businesses.

These factors are essential, as without them a business could be left facing administration or insolvency, which can ultimately place further pressures on the family members involved.

Support is key for business owners, as it is possible to ease stress and develop a better work-life balance when friends and family are there to assist them in finding the best outcomes for their businesses.

By Phil Smith

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