Some mixed news for independent, family run vehicle repair businesses from the EY Growth Barometer: Family Business Report. According to their findings, family businesses are targeting growth rates of up to 25%, significantly above World Bank forecasts of global GDP growth this year of 2.7% and well ahead of non-family business peers.
However, the study found that the sector in which a family business operates has a significant role in determining immediate growth plans. It shows that the automotive sector is near the bottom of the table for this with modest growth plans. The industry is challenged by digitisation and convergence – independent garages need to try to stay one step ahead and adapt to changes in the industry.
Despite that, family businesses can take advantage of a particular edge they have over other types in terms of their approach to talent and ability to retain employees. The study showed that overall, 72% of family-owned businesses plan to increase staff, compared to just 56% of non-family peers.
Breaking this down, the headcount increases in full-time jobs account for 33% of family businesses compared to 26% for non-family firms, while increases in part-time and freelance roles account for 39% of family businesses and just 30% of non-family organizations. These hiring plans reflect family business leaders’ confidence in the long-term sustainability of their growth plans and their embracing of new ways of accessing talent through the gig economy with short-term contracts and flexible working hours.
In family businesses, employees see themselves as part of the broader family culture. The leaders of the business are committed to their employees in terms of training and support and as a result many employees work for the same family firm for their whole careers.
The automotive industry is facing significant changes ahead with the switch to electric and hybrid vehicles. To keep up with the main dealers, independent, family run repairers need to be planning for this and ensure that their staff are trained to work safely on the new high voltage technology and that once trained, they are able to retain them.