Family businesses going strong in crisis

Australian family businesses have kept a cool head and weathered the economic downturn better than their counterparts, a new survey has revealed.

According to the KPMG and Family Business Australia 2009 Family Business Survey, family businesses have cruised through the downturn as a result of a traditional and conservative approach to business with a long-term focus.

The survey revealed that 71 percent of respondents reported no impact, or only a small impact from the global financial crisis resulting from decreased availability and increased cost of finance.

Bill Noye, partner in KPMG’s Middle Market Advisory practise said family businesses are surviving the economic downturn through simple and stable methods.

“Family businesses have unique characteristics – they are traditionally conservative when looking for opportunities, but at the same time flexible and resilient,” he said.

“These characteristics on which they thrive – a conservative approach and long-term focus – are now being adopted by other business types as a means to survive the downturn.”

The survey revealed that family businesses were well prepared for the crisis, with just under 90 percent indicating they have some kind of strategic business plan, while nearly half have a business risk plan.

In addition, 10 percent expect their revenue to increase by over 20 percent in the next 12 months.

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