Approximately 40% of 4,000 recently surveyed family businesses characterized themselves as "high growth," reporting 10% or greater average annual sales-volume increases over the past five years. In comparison with their lower-growth counterparts (reporting 5% or less growth), these companies were more likely to have the following traits:

High-growth Low-growth companies companies

Have three or more board of directors' meetings annually 33% 25%

Report international sales 37% 26%

Operate with a strategic plan 56% 44%

Believe information technology is important to achieving goals 73% 60%

Source: "American Family Business Survey, 1995," conducted by Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State College; Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center; and the Arthur Andersen Center for Family Business, in Houston.

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