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The Current Agenda For Family Firms Around The UK

The latest survey from Family Business United has identified the key challenges that are being addressed by family business leaders in board rooms up and down the country.

With so much political and economic uncertainty at present it is not easy running a business where there are constant business and economic announcements and regulatory changes and therefore unsurprising that macro issues top the agenda again this year with new areas of concern on the agenda such as mental health and wellbeing and issues around the environment.

This year’s Family Business Survey sought to get a picture of the issues that are facing family businesses and to highlight the complex agenda that is being addressed. The results are in and clearly identify the main areas of concern for family businesses across the country.

The Top Challenges Facing UK Family Businesses Today

  1. The Economic Climate (82%)

  2. Rising Costs of Labour & Raw Materials (60%)

  3. Recruiting, Retaining & Motivating Staff (59%)

  4. Mental Health & Wellbeing (35%)

  5. Environmental Issues (32%

  6. Regulation, Red Tape & Legislation (31%)

  7. Staff Shortages/Vacancies (30%)

  8. Profitability & Sustainability Of The Business (29%)

  9. Global Political Uncertainty (27%)

  10. Cyber Security (26%)

  11. Balancing The Needs Of The Family & The Business (22%)

  12. Succession/Identifying & Developing Future Leaders (21%)

  13. Developing Business Overseas (19%)

  14. Improving Customer Engagement (18%)

  15. Supply Chain Issues (17%)

As Paul Andrews, Founder and CEO of Family Business United explains, “These results give us a broad indication of the challenges being faced by family business owners. It is well documented that the past year has continued to be incredibly challenging for businesses across the UK and the boardroom agenda is packed with challenges that do need to be addressed.”

“Family firms have shown their resilience and entrepreneurship over the last few years and continue to be innovative in their business decisions but it is clear that there are concerns."

“There is a lot on the business agenda and compared to prior years some of the family challenges around succession, transition, governance and engaging the next generation are deemed less important but they should not be forgotten. Family matters will need to be addressed going forward but it is understandable at present the focus remains on the measures that will enable businesses to survive for the longer term,” continues Paul.

"Running a business at the moment is challenging but family firms are known to be adaptable, entrepreneurial and innovative, as many have been for generations, and will continue to take the necessary steps to deal with the challenges they face.”

“The survey clearly identifies the challenges faced by family business owners around the UK and helps people appreciate that they are not alone in facing these challenges and it also gives recognition to the concerns of this rich, vibrant and diverse sector of the economy. It also gives an indication as to the nature of the conversations that should be taking place around the family business boardroom table too,” concludes Paul.

Family Business United conducted the survey during the summer of 2023 canvassing the opinions of family business owners across the UK.

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