Most Canadian family businesses expanded in 2012, but owners nationwide are still anxious about the future.

A PwC study finds the majority (62%) are worried they won’t be able to sustain innovative, growing companies without first build talented teams—a tough task given the country’s lacklustre workforce.


Owners across the globe are most concerned about the economy, but it’s a different story in Canada. This is because our “economy is relatively stability, but we have an aging workforce and a tight talent pool,” says Sharon Duguid, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs and Family Enterprise for PwC.

She adds, “Family businesses aren’t able to compete with multinational players when it comes to compensation. On the development end, their conservative growth strategies are not appealing to…talent trying to climb the ranks.”

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To remedy this, small businesses need to highlight their strong values, as well as their employee rewards programs to attract and keep quality staff.

It’s equally important for owners to prepare sound succession plans early on to protect their legacies. They can do this by bringing children on board sooner, or by searching for third-party successors well in advance of their retirements.

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The survey finds they’ve only put plans in place to deal with family conflict so far. They have shareholders’ agreements (69%), incapacity and death arrangements (61%), and entry and exit provisions (45%).

For more information, check out the links below:

Make succession planning a priority

Succession planning seems to be last on everyone’s list, and this includes advisors themselves.

Hiring a family member

Some advisors include family in succession plans. But remember that mixing relatives and money can be disastrous if mismanaged.

5 ways to strengthen your team

How to get to know your employees and ensure they’re properly recognized.

Employees can buy out the boss

Some 40% of Canada’s fastest-growing companies offer employee ownership, which spurs higher levels of creativity, employee engagement and organizational alignment.

Building your business

Few have the tenacity, patience and drive to piece together a legacy. So the first step to building a successful business is determining whether you even want one.