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The Adaptability Of Family Businesses

The latest research from Hitachi Capital Business Finance has identified how resourceful and resilient many small family businesses have been during these unprecedented times. In fact, the latest findings highlight that 57% of family business leaders are proactively supporting the health and well-being of their staff during the pandemic and are doing all that they can to protect jobs too.

Family business leaders are also open to the advice of others because it can be lonely running a family business and during these difficult times with plenty of difficult conversations to be held and decisions to be made, stress levels are also high and it can be of real value to talk to others to gain insights and thoughts as to how to move forward. Interestingly, there is a difference in where business owners seek advice with younger businesses run by younger leaders using all the resources at their disposal, often wanting instant advice and turning to online channels and social media platforms to gain the information they are after. Older leaders tend to want to gain more face-to-face input, possibly from a trusted adviser rather than search online.

Older businesses (over 20 years of age) are more likely to turn to:

1. Professional Advisers (46%)
2. Business Networks (41%)
3. Online Searches (35%)

Younger businesses (under 10 years of age) are more likely to turn to :

1. Online Searches (41%)
2. Banks (26%)
3. Social Media (20%)

This generational difference can easily be explained as the older generation would have been leading before the invention of the internet and be from a business world where meetings with a bank manager were more the norm compared to the way that business leaders interact and gain external input today.

As Joanna Morris, Head of Marketing and Insight at Hitachi Capital Business Finance explains, “It is at times like these that the human side of business really comes to the fore, and many family business leaders demonstrate what makes family businesses unique. Family business owners across the UK are demonstrating their adaptable side and showing strong resilience and determination to succeed.”

“Programmes to re-skill and train staff with new skills that the business need are increasingly being introduced and where possible roles are being diversified with skills and training programmes to ensure a business ahs the right skills in their workforce to move forward. It is essential that key roles are supported so blending roles, upskilling staff with new ways of working and having the people in place to cover sickness and absence is crucial too.”

“Family firms are doing all they can to survive and even with the current restrictions that are in place, and on average monthly turnover falling by 34% since the beginning of the year, there is a reluctance to let staff go and family business leaders are anticipating that less than 7% of their workforce will be made redundant by the end of the year.”

“Family firms are demonstrating their integrity each and every day during these difficult times but are benefiting from the loyalty that they have built up over the period that they have traded, with long standing, established firms who are part of the fabric of communities across the country continuing to benefit from doing the right thing for their staff and therefore the business, and ultimately the community too. They are putting plans in place for the long term and continuing to invest in their staff which is clearly essential too.”

To download a full copy of the research report and to find out more, click here

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