Do family businesses across the globe have difficulty planning long-term?


A successful transition of business and wealth is the ultimate strategic direction for every family enterprise.  Yet, as folklore and studies of both would suggest, the majority of family businesses fail to effectively sustain these two important assets beyond two generations.
BDO has embarked on a global study of family business by taking a qualitative and quantitative approach to examining 13 key areas of the enterprise to identify the typical roadblocks and the common building blocks for successful transitions.

This research project will enhance the education of business families worldwide around the need to align generations in preparing for change, taking advantage of opportunities and addressing challenges.
The input gathered to date, from a qualitative and quantitative study of approximately 1,200 stakeholders and 200 family businesses from across cultures will provide insights into specific roadblocks and a process for business families across the globe to use in identifying these roadblocks. Analysis of the findings will:

• Highlight any global trends in common roadblocks to planning for the future.
• Include comments from family members who participated in the survey and study.
• Identify steps FFI advisers can take to help their family enterprise clients develop more future-focused strategies that enhance the success of both the business and the inevitable wealth transition.
• Provide a benchmarking and tool for FFI members to use in helping family enterprises more effectively plan for the future.
• Set the stage for a more participative, collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to family business advising.


Using a confidential online survey to obtain views on best practices in the family, ownership and business, Phase 1 of this study provides important insights into issues for family businesses and those who advise them.

The issues covered include:

•Do family businesses adequately plan for the future?
•Are respondents family focused or business minded?
•Does gender bias exist in family firms?
•Are the ‘in-laws’ considered family? 
•Are current realities tomorrow’s myths?
•Overcoming the myths of family business planning

To obtain your copy please click the image below

An infographic providing a snapshot of the study and the online survey run to obtain views on best practices in the family, ownership and business, can be downloaded by clicking the preview image below

Participation in the study provides family businesses with a greater understanding of best practices and identifies where they need to focus their attention as they plan for the future.

BDO is encouraging all family businesses to participate in Phase 2 of the study in order to gain further insight into how firms can best overcome the typical roadblocks to an intergenerational business transition and ensure alignment of key stakeholders.  To participate in the study, please contact any member of the BDO Global Family Business Group.