As we all get back into the swing of work after the Christmas break it is a good time to look forward to what the new year may have in store for us.
Many businesses will find this year a real challenge. There is a lot of uncertainty around what will happen with regards to Brexit and this uncertainty has already lead to reducing sales and profits for many.
It is interesting that often the unknown has a more detrimental impact on the economy than actual problems. You only have to look at how the pound has plummeted, along with the stock markets, over the last year to see that this is the case – even though we have not left the EU yet.
The economy is driven by confidence and that confidence is fragile. The press fosters negative feelings about the future – because bad news sells papers – and suddenly everyone is in a spin, confidence collapses and, guess what, the economy suffers. It’s bad news, just as the papers warned!
As business owners we have to be careful that we don’t get caught up in a spiral of negativity. Negativity prevents business growth because good decisions are postponed. Investment in the future is delayed as outcomes become, apparently, more uncertain.
The fact is that good, focused, businesses should not be afraid of the future because economic downturns tend to favour them, as less well managed businesses fall out of the market place.
The key to success over the coming months will be to focus on making your business as efficient and effective as possible. This is always the case but less so when the economy is bouyant.
If you need to invest for the future growth of your business don’t put off doing so; but before committing make sure that you have a robust business case for the investment. Be in charge of your own fate.
Many companies cut back on marketing and training, but these are the very things that will help your business to thrive when your competitors are floundering.
Above all make sure that you have updated your business plan and built in some ‘what/if’ scenarios. That way you will be clear on the goals you have for the coming year and what you need to do to achieve them. There is no reason why you shouldn’t reach your pot of gold!