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Family businesses feel the squeeze

RMIT University, this on behalf of MGI, salve has released a study of 5,000 family-owned and private businesses in Australia.

The report pegs the sector as being worth $4.3 trillion and found that in the past three years, only 24% of family business owners surveyed have experienced an increase of profitability and market share.

When asked about the Federal Government, 91% of those surveyed believed it was not offering them enough support. There was a similar lack of confidence in the opposition, with 83% believing it would not help them either.

Sue Prestney, chairman of MGI, claimed the survey highlighted that over the past decade family business owners have progressively become more concerned about their financial performance as well as about the industries in which they operate.

“Additionally, today almost 60% of family business owners feel that their children are not interested in taking over the family business,” she said. “Daughters in particular, while more inclined to stride out on their own as entrepreneurs, are far less likely to be involved in the family business (9%) than their brothers (36%),”

The study was headed up by Kosmas Smyrnios from RMIT and he believes that family business operators are concerned about the impact of the high Australian dollar on profit margins, letting go of leadership and control of the business and securing adequate capital for growth and retirement.

Of those surveyed, 34% indicated they do not have an adequately funded retirement program and the average age of a family business owner has increased from 56 to 58.

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