Family businesses are optimistic about their recovery over the next two years, with 86% anticipating a return to pre-pandemic growth rates by 2022, says PwC.
The estimates are encouraging as, given the health crisis, only 28% of respondents estimated sales increases for 2020, with 46% estimating decreases.
The impact of COVID-19 on sales is uneven across sectors
Of those in hospitality and leisure, 84%, the highest proportion of any sector, expect a contraction, followed by 64% in automotive and 63% in entertainment and media.
Regarding the measures taken during the pandemic, 80% of family businesses have enabled home working for employees and 25% have repurposed production to meet pandemic-related demand.
Only a third of family businesses have had to cut dividends and only 20% have needed access to additional capital.
Looking to the future, 80% of family businesses plan to diversify or expand into new products or markets.
Digital transformation has been delayed
Although 80% of respondents say that initiatives related to digitalisation, innovation and technology are a top priority, progress in those areas has been slow.
Only 19% say that their digital journey is complete, with 62% believing that they have a long way to go.
Of businesses that report having digitalised their operations, 41% are in their third or fourth generation of managing the family business.
Top priorities for the next two years include expanding into new markets / customer segments (55%), improving digital capabilities (52%), launching new products / services (50%), increasing the use of new technologies (49%) and rethinking the business model (39%).