Europe’s family businesses are confident about the future but must become more agile, innovate faster and attract and retain top talent in order to remain competitive and to continue their growth.
These are among the key findings of the seventh annual European Family Business Barometer which surveyed 1,576 owners, next generation and senior leaders of family businesses in 26 countries across Europe, published by KPMG Enterprise and European Family Business (EFB).
Investing in innovation and people to fuel growth
Europe’s family businesses are planning for growth. One of the key strategies is embracing innovation. Respondents are capitalising on past growth and reinvesting profits into the business. The majority (89%) are investing in the core business, 79% are investing in innovation and technology, and 88% are investing in recruitment and training. This is also a direct response to the top two challenges facing respondents: the skills shortage (44%) and the rising cost of labour (56%).
Tom McGinness, head of family business, KPMG Enterprise in the UK, said: “Family businesses are placing technology and innovation at the heart of their strategy. Confidence remains high but has suffered as a result of economic uncertainty, which makes having a contingency plan in place and being agile to change essential for the health of a business.
“By taking a wait-and-see approach to international expansion and increasing focus on improving technological capabilities, firms have measures in place to help mitigate the headwinds likely to be felt as a result of Brexit. What they need now is better access to skilled people to help make this happen.
“While businesses of all types are facing challenges, the entrepreneurial success of family businesses is often overlooked. To have one successful business within a family is already an achievement - but we’re seeing something special when success spans over four or five generations. Family businesses know how to endure. They’ve weathered generations of economic ups and downs, and by turning their heads to technology and innovation in more uncertain times, they’re staying true to form - diversifying and changing course to keep ahead of the competition.”
The barometer report can be read here.
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