Test local Content coutnry tab.
Family businesses in DACH have grown at a similar level to the global average over the last year. 7 in 10 have grown in the last 12 months and three-quarters are looking for steady growth over the next five years. However, Swiss businesses are less bullish about growth than German or Austrian firms.
The key challenges to growth in the next 12 months will be attracting the right skills/talent (notably in Austria), current market conditions and company re-organisation. German and Austrian family businesses worry about the future of the Euro, while Swiss companies struggle with the strong Swiss Francs and the exchange rate.
Family businesses in DACH markets believe they hold some key advantages over non-family businesses including: agility/flexibility, long-term focus/business sustainability, a human/employee-orientated culture and inherent sense of motivation & commitment. In Germany it was felt family businesses have a greater appetite for risk/innovation. Family businesses know that they play a vital role in their country’s economy; including job creation and adding stability to a balanced economy (opinions held more vehemently than the global average and even more so in Germany).
Half of DACH family businesses in Germany and Austria plan to pass the business and management down to the next generation; those in Switzerland are more than twice as likely to be sold/floated (19%) than in Germany or Austria (7% and 8% respectively).
Family firms in Germany, Austria and Switzerland generally believe their government recognises the importance of family businesses (in Switzerland and Austria more than in Germany), but 6 in 10 agree government should make it easier to access finance and only 1 in 10 feel government is doing what it can to help them survive/develop. Among others they demand action on specific taxation (e.g. IHT, tax on reinvested profit) and a greater "voice" of family businesses.
Managing Partner, Leier Baustoffe-Holding, GmbH, Austria
Family businesses think more long-term and more sustainably. Management-run companies often think in quarters and that makes the managers look good but is not sustainable in the long run. Family businesses take more responsibility for their staff and we also act on this. We are responsible to our debtees giving us money but that is the degree of responsibility we have. Familiy businesses have a responsibility towards society that a temporarily employed manager doesn't have.
Managing Director, Henkelhausen GmbH & Co KG, Germany
The role of family is known, however there is a big gap between words and actions. One indication is certainly the behavior of our Chancellor, who is usually accompanied by DAX executives rather than family entrepreneurs on their trips. In addition one has to worry about current discussions (especially by the opposition) on tax increases, and the reintroduction of wealth tax. This gives rise to the question whether there is an understanding of the situation of FU. In sum there is too much talk and too little action.
CEO, Donauer Solartechnik Vertriebs GmbH, Germany
Finding good staff is a challenge as big companies pay more. Everything stands or falls with good staff and they have to be convinced why they should work for you.
Managing Director/ Owner/ Executive Board, IFN Beteiligungs GmbH, Austria
Improving the education system, prevention of inheritance and property tax, and a soft point: how family businesses are understood in the general public, if the owners are listed on the 'rich list' the readers only think about the money those founders/owners have to their disposal but do not tend to see the social behaviour of family businesses, e.g. generating business for the region, employment opportunities for the people in the region, etc.
CEO, Baghdadi International AG. Switzerland
Heart and soul: if you put your own money into a business you work differently to someone who uses someone else's money. As a family business you can act and make decisions faster. The personal element is the deciding factor: our customers want to know who is behind the product and appreciate that they can see and touch us, and that's why they like buying from us.