PKF Australia

Accountants and Business Advisers

Ten aspirations of running a family business

Ten aspirations of running a family business

All businesses seek similar goals.  Depending on the stage in the business life cycle, some goals may be more relevant than others.  However, family businesses have a further nuance. The family business decision makers must be constantly aware of the impact of their decisions on the family.

Structure: Set up, from the outset, in a manner to protect the owners’ assets from the business’ creditors and vice versa.  Protect the business’ assets from the owners’ creditors and in a manner to maximise family wealth.

Cash: Retain sufficient working capital in the business but get all excess cash out.

Stability: Maintain a strong Balance Sheet so the business can support its own borrowings without personal guarantees.

Compliance: Meet all tax, superannuation and OH&S obligations in order to protect the directors from personal liability.

Staffing: Ensure fairness between family members working in the business and those not by adopting commercial remuneration.

Marketing: Australians like to support Australian owned family businesses.  Advertise to this advantage.

Governance: Provide systems and regular reporting so family members outside of the family business understand their investment in the family business.

Freedom: Free up the key personnel’s time for maximum benefit either in and out of the business.

Plan: Set short term objectives to achieve long term goals and continuously review the plan.

Exit: Keep the business in a state ready for sale whilst monitoring /actioning succession options.

As you can see, whilst these aspirations apply to all businesses, they have a further level of complexity and wider ramifications for a family business.  Greater care and thought is required.



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