Edition 101 – Predictions for 2018

Happy New Year! May 2018 bring you great opportunity, good health, an invigorated sense of purpose and more time with your family.

The beauty that I have in working with family businesses, across all industries, is that I have the ability to see what works, what doesn’t and why. What many owners and managers of family businesses can’t see, I hold up the mirror and let people know what things look like from the outside. That is a unique perspective as I then have the opportunity to go inside and help people introduce change that sometimes they never thought was possible – and for others, never realised was necessary.

As we head into 2018, here is what I see is coming up in the world of family business.

  1. Technology, the desire to create one’s own destiny, and the unwillingness to travel long distances, by traditional modes of transport, to traditional places of employment, will lead to a significant increase in home based businesses.
  2. As labour laws become more punitive, there will be a rapid increase in the number of subcontractor based family businesses.
  3. Family businesses will start up and flourish based not on products but on ideas and intangibles.
  4. Big retail will struggle – whereas small, online retail is adaptable to location and taste.
  5. Banks will need to get their head around lending to family business using resources other than Real Estate security. Business banking is one of the few parts of the economic cycle that has not been subject to disruption…..yet!
  6. More niche businesses that are family focussed either in their target market or their ownership structure will flourish.
  7. Businesses that focus on making our lives easier will take off – whether it is in goods, services or some other intangible.
  8. People will continue to crave more luxury. No one needs a Louis Vuitton handbag or to drive a European luxury car – but we all like them.
  9. There will be more “pop-up” businesses that are short term in their physical location – with most not requiring a traditional set of premises from which to operate.
  10. More family businesses will be faced with catastrophic change as a result of being under-prepared for generational transition or the illness or death of the business head of the family. Some will survive – most won’t.
  11. Businesses that are “generalists” in their field will struggle to survive. You need to specialise.
  12. If you have not launched a new product or service since 2015, you need to make 2018 your year – otherwise, 2020 will be crunch time for your family business and your financial survival.

This Week’s Tip

“Spend a few minutes to map out what you’d like to achieve in your family business in 2018 – and what resources you need to get there.”

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