When your family are also your business partners, you have to think about the future in a different way.

The contribution of family businesses to the Australian and New Zealand economies is significant. They account for 70% of all businesses and employ 50% of the workforce. But what is keeping this sector up at night?

We are delighted that so many family business leaders took the time to complete Grant Thornton and Family Business Australia & New Zealand’s Family Business Survey 2021 - Australia’s longest running survey into family businesses (having first been published in 2005). It has given us a unique insight into how family businesses have fared over the last 18 months and their prospects for the future.

Generally speaking – family businesses are optimistic. However, if we look closer, we see that the family firms with strong governance in place and that are 'transition-ready' far outperformed their peers in terms of resilience in the past, prospects for the future, and overall satisfaction with their achievements.

Watch on-demand | Family Business Survey 2021

Key findings from the report and the need for succession planning

Grant Thornton and Family Business Australia and Family Business New Zealand’s Family Business Survey 2021 report was released on the 17th of September, and received responses from over 260 family business leaders. The report highlights the importance of good governance, succession planning and being transition-ready, as well as how all of these elements contribute to better financial performance.

The report will focus on five key themes

Succession

Succession

Resilience

Resilience

Family values

Family values

Governance

Governance

Business strategy

Business strategy

The call to action for all family businesses, particularly in these uncertain times, is to invest in good governance. Seek outside advice, put in processes to bring the family together, and even if you are not prepared to transition out of your business in the short term, it pays to prepare your future successor well in advance. It all comes down to building a healthier and more resilient business with the best chance of being handed down successfully to the next generation.

For more information, please contact Robert Powell

Robert is the Partner & National Head of Family Business Consulting at Grant Thornton Australia. He is a family enterprise and succession planning specialist who is a fully accredited Specialist Advisor Member of Family Business Australia, the peak body representing family business and their advisors in Australia. Robert is a regular speaker on family enterprises and SME-related issues, and has been frequently interviewed for publications including the Australian Financial Review, Business Review Weekly, and The Australian.

Robert Powell

Robert Powell

  • National Head of Family Business Consulting