In the latest family business pulse we asked family business leaders across the UK to consider everything that has happened over the course of the past year and to share their thoughts on the prospects for their business.
- 70% are more optimistic about their business prospects than they were this time last year
- 23% have similar thoughts on their business prospects compared to a year ago
- 7% remain concerned about the sustainability of their business
For many family businesses the past year has been incredibly challenging with the pandemic affecting the ability to trade for many and the need for others to find new ways of working and new routes to market.
As Paul Andrews, Founder and CEO of Family Business United explains, “These results highlight the true degree of positivity in the family business community at present and maybe with the survey coinciding with the start of the easing of restrictions there is more optimism than one would have expected. However, pent up demand and the desire to socialise and meet up with friends and family will certainly be good news for many, especially those in the hospitality sector.”
“There may well be a bumpy road ahead as businesses have to make difficult decisions around staffing issues as the furlough scheme comes to an end, CBILS and other loans need to be repaid and any deferred taxes settled, but the level of optimism compared to this time last year is great to see. Family firms have shown their resilience over the past year, worked collaboratively within their communities to make a difference and found new ways of working too.”
“For the younger family firms there may well have been more challenges than their multi-generational counterparts who will have been through challenging times before, and speaking to many family business owners it is clear that taking long term decisions, learning from the past and focus on the business going forward has stood them in good stead. It is really encouraging to see the way that family firms have dealt with the challenges over the past year and hopefully this will be the start of a continued recovery for many of them,” continues Paul.
“What the pandemic has done is made family firms consider strategy questions and spend time ON the business and not just IN the business, something that in the past has been a challenge for many. The way that family business owners have shared ideas and helped one another through has also been fantastic and the community has really pulled together. Families in business have also had to adapt digitally and for many the pandemic has expedited digital strategies and afforded a way for new ways of working to be adapted quickly to meet the business needs too.”
“It is clearly not a consistent pattern across all family firms, nor all sectors of the economy but we do hope that this positive outlook continues and family firms continue to be positive in their approach and begin to see light at the end of the tunnel,” concludes Paul.