UK family business: looking to the future

"It’s been challenging but we feel that our modest levels of gearing have given us a competitive edge in a tricky market. We’re expecting 2010/2011 to be a year of both growth and opportunity." 

Nicholas Bewes - The Howard Group

UK family businesses are showing signs of being upbeat about the future, with 64% saying they aim to expand.

Even so, a third of family businesses have reduced capital expenditure since 2007 - worryingly more so than their global counterparts - and cut back on their plans for investment. But generally they feel they’ve coped well and are in a good position to compete and capitalise on new opportunities.

Two thirds of family businesses interviewed were convinced that being part of a family business has helped them through the economic slump. They see their collective purpose and sense of continuity and sustainability as greater than in other companies.

When we asked family businesses in the UK to name their top three external challenges, it was clear the finance crisis has moved the focus from competitors to the market place. Seventy per cent mentioned market conditions (compared with 46% in 2007) and 42% said they were concerned about legislation and regulation (compared with 61% in 2007).

Read the full report for more details.