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Key priorities for Family Business Owners


Key priorities for Family Business Owners

By , February 10, 2020
family business - priorities

Study shows an increased focus on legacy, asset protection and succession.

Recent survey data from the Deloitte Private Company 2020 report highlights a substantial change in focus for family business owners. The insights are also strongly supported by anecdotal evidence from our clients who are mostly mid-market (turnover between 5 million and 100 million) business owners who are typically baby boomers in family businesses. Survey respondents listed their strategic focus areas as follows:

family business owners - strategic focus - 2020 Deloitte

The above graph indicates an increased focus on longer-term strategic outcomes and a reduced focus on wealth creation and growth. Let’s face it, many baby boomers are already fairly well off and so they can afford to focus on other priorities. Increased focus on legacy is a common theme we see with mid-market baby boomer business owners. They are very keen to leave a legacy, look after their stakeholders – suppliers, customers and employees – and are focused on ensuring the business continues successfully after they have exited.

The high percentage of respondents looking at succession and governance indicates this, leading to not only a more effective family business succession but also a more sustainable business in the long run. 

Alarmingly, the same survey shows ongoing short-termism amongst business owners: a focus on short term planning and tactics that is a long way from being strategic and accomplishing the key outcomes highlighted above. 6% planned for the next 12 months, 37% planned for the next 2-3 years and 34% planned for up to 5 years. This leaves just 23% thinking beyond the 5 years. I regularly encourage (harass and cajole) our clients to think at least 20 years ahead.

To continue the family legacy, preserve and protect capital, maximise business value and achieve a successful succession outcome, a timeframe of 20 years is optimal.

Craig West

Craig West

Managing Director | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.

Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.

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