Poles improve their opinion on family businessesPublished: 29.01.2016
Poles associate family businesses with tradition, high quality, reliability, honesty and integrity: such are the findings of the report "Poles’ Opinion on Family Businesses," drafted by the Family Business Foundation in cooperation with EY consultancy. The owners of family businesses were characterized as hard-working, entrepreneurial, resourceful and creative.
"Family businesses account for two thirds of all firms globally and create up to 80% of jobs in most countries," EY head of Human Capital advisory department Marek Jarocki said. "It is family businesses which are key to maintaining equilibrium in the global economy."
Tradition and quality paramount to clients of family businesses
Poles demonstrate deep trust and have a very good opinion on family businesses as well as their owners. One in four respondents underlined the role of tradition in family firms, the most frequently evoked trait in the survey. High quality of products was the second most frequent characteristic of family firms, and was listed by 15% of respondents.
Poles' trust towards family businesses may to a large extent stem from the personal responsibility that the owners take for the business. Often they guarantee the quality of the product with their own name. This is very important for clients: for over half (52%) of respondents who buy products or services from family firms this guarantee is the biggest incentive to make a purchase.
The owners of family businesses are characterized as entrepreneurial (the most important trait for nearly 60% of respondents), hard-working (54.9%), resourceful (48.3%), creative (44.9%) and brave (37.8%).
"The results of the survey which we presented in the report entice optimism," the CEO of the Family Businesses Foundation Katarzyna Gierczak Grupinska said. "I would often encounter entrepreneurs who were not sure whether to disclose the family character of their businesses for fear of a stereotypical reaction from the environment."
Poles ready to launch a firm even with their mother-in-law
The ultimate proof that the negative stereotypes about family businesses are gone are responses to the question whether family members are good business partners. It appears that most Poles participating in the survey gave a positive answer. Asked about which member of the family Poles could hypothetically launch a business with, respondents pointed primarily to their spouses. They would also willingly launch a business with their siblings. Seven out of a thousand Poles would be willing to run a firm even with their mother-in-law.
"Interestingly, the will to take over firms of one's parents is not that obvious anymore," Marek Jarocki noted. "Only 4.5% of Polish students would like to join the family company five years after finishing education, an EY global survey indicated. Immediately after graduation this percentage stood at 6.3%."
Poles willing to pay more for products from family businesses
Over one third of Poles are willing to pay more for products and services provided by family businesses, even up to 15% above the standard price offered by non-family suppliers. Among persons who declared readiness for such high a surcharge, most ascribe additional value to personal quality supervision by the owner, as well as to the Polish provenance of the product.
It appears, however, that the firms themselves are not aware of the immense image potential which comes from the family character of their business. Only 20% of Poles surveyed encountered labelling which informed that the product came from a family business, firm representatives admit.
Poles voiced it clear: the information about a product coming from a family business should be included on the package, the report indicates. Seventy percent of respondents support such a solution.
Best-known family businesses operate in the food industry
Four out of five family firm brands spontaneously named by respondents were firms from the food industry: Grycan, Koral (both ice-cream), Olewnik (meat) and Blikle (cafe & confectioner).
Respondents are also aware of global firms which are also family businesses. It is worth noting one of the most frequently named firms was confectioner Wedel, not a family-owned brand, but certainly a firm with a family business heritage.
"Unfortunately, if we exclude family firms with best brand recognition, consumers are largely unaware of which respected firms are owned by families," Grupinska indicated.
"Poland is not an exception in this respect," Marek Jarocki added. "We observe a similar phenomenon worldwide. Few are aware that brands such as Wal-Mart or BMW are family firms despite the fact that they have been on the market for at least 30 years. In Europe, the list of ten biggest businesses established and managed by families include Volkswagen, Auchan, Peugeot or Roche."
Family firms need a little bit more self-confidence in order to use their family character in communication with the market more eagerly and with more awareness, both experts underlined.
Source - Polish Press Agency, Economic Service