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Family businesses innovating for expansion

Written by Michelle Rodger

Europe’s family businesses are embracing innovation as they plan for expansion by capitalising on past growth and reinvesting profits into the business, a  new survey carried out by KPMG has found.

The majority (89%) are investing in the core business, 79% are investing in innovation and technology, and 88%  are investing in recruitment and training.

This is also a direct response to the top two challenges facing respondents: the skills shortage (44 per cent) and the rising cost of labour (56%).

Kirsty Ross, family business consultant for KPMG in Scotland, said: “Family businesses are placing technology and innovation at the heart of their strategy. In line with the global findings, confidence remains high in Scotland, but has suffered as a result of economic uncertainty, which makes having a contingency plan in place and being agile to change essential for the health of a business.

“By taking a wait-and-see approach to international expansion and increasing focus on improving technological capabilities, firms have measures in place to help mitigate the headwinds likely to be felt as a result of Brexit. What they need now is better access to skilled people to help make this happen.

“While businesses of all types are facing challenges, the entrepreneurial success of family businesses is often overlooked. To have one successful business within a family is already an achievement – but we’re seeing something special when success spans over four or five generations. Family businesses know how to endure. They’ve weathered generations of economic ups and downs, and by turning their heads to technology and innovation in more uncertain times, they’re staying true to form – diversifying and changing course to keep ahead of the competition.”

About the author

Michelle Rodger

Michelle is a former national newspaper journalist who co-founded an award-winning IT business before launching Tartan Cat Communications. A social media and crowdfunding expert she manages media and communications for Business for Scotland.

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