Why National Family Business Day really matters

masterclass, family businesses

Every September, Australia celebrates National Family Business Day – a day designed to recognise the invaluable contribution family businesses make to the Australian economy, community, and culture.

National Family business Day has been a highlight on the calendar for nine years.

This coming Friday, 17 September, family businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand will bring all generations together with other family members and colleagues (both online and in the workplace depending on local COVID-19 restrictions) to acknowledge the year that has past and celebrate the future of their family business.

Family businesses are small, medium and large businesses that are owned and operated by family members such as brothers and sisters, a husband and wife or father and daughter and can be the first generation or have taken it over from generations before. Family Businesses account for approximately 70 per cent of all businesses in Australia, across all industries. They are the backbone of the Australian economy employing approximately 50 per cent of the Australian workforce.

Many of Australia’s largest and most loved companies are family businesses including Brown Brothers, Coopers Brewery, Akubra Hats, Haighs Chocolates, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Kennards Hire & Self Storage, Paspaley and A.H Beard.

All family businesses, no matter how small or large they are, have one collective thing in common. They all have a family business story to tell. Whether they’re a multi-generation business, a dynamic husband and wife duo or siblings, each of their businesses are interwoven with their family values and ethos. Family businesses aren’t just in business for profits they are there to build a legacy.

Succession planning is about one key thing, “keeping it in the family”. Many family business owners hope to pass on their business to the next generation. Family business succession maintains the strong connection between the two most important things in a family business owner’s life; their business and their family. Succession can also be the perfect way to cap off the business owner’s personal business journey. Succession involves a range of business decisions with the overlay of complex family dynamics and individual relationships. This can create challenges. Succession planning matters because it helps ensure effective preparation and communication, which are critical to preventing or overcoming those challenges.

It is great to see family businesses committed to their next generation taking over and continuing to build a legacy for their business whilst contributing to the greater Australian culture. Family Businesses contribute to the Australia economy like no other business sector, and it is great to be able to celebrate them this National Family Business Day.

The Family Business Survey 2021 finds transition ready family businesses, with strong governance in place, have been more resilient during COVID-19 and are also more likely see an increase in revenue in the next 12 months. With the survey finding 70 per cent of family businesses are almost transition ready or are transition ready, indicating the sector is strong and the future looks good.

Family Business Australia remain committed to continuing their work by supporting family business both in Australian and New Zealand, to ensure they are transition ready and successful across multiple generations.

So, this Family Business Day we are asking Australians and New Zealanders to acknowledge the contribution family businesses make to our national economy and to our local communities. This year more than ever it is important to get you and your family to throw their support behind the Australian and New Zealand owned family businesses that are supporting us. Look out for the “A family owned Australian/New Zealand business” emblem on products, signage and websites.

Go to https://www.wearefamilyowned.org.au to check out a list of family businesses in your state that you can support.