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Crisis? What Crisis?!

Just imagine there is a worldwide pandemic and trade across the world has changed...

... supply chains are under pressure costs are rising and uncertainty fills everyone’s mind and to make matters even more interesting we withdraw our free-flowing trade with one of the largest trading partners in the world!

Hang on a minute isn’t that the world we are in today?

Well, it certainly looks and feels like it but does that mean we should have the Crisis mentality?

During 2019/20 I spoke to al lot of businesses across the Eastern Region and there were businesses and owners who could only see crisis. However, there were others that had lived through previous trading challenges and had realised that crisis breads opportunity.

There were many examples: we saw the growth of innovation in table top ordering in hospitality and small retailers setting up online ordering services. I have seen businesses in the shellfish industry massively hit by Brexit regulation pivoting to sell online and deliver within 2h hours anywhere in the UK.

There are many examples and what it shows us is that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the UK economy and sad as it sounds, I am proud of the drive and determination our SME economy has shown through some very challenging times.

Furlough Freedom

We have seen the emergence of the Furloughpreneur too.

People who may not have realised they had an entrepreneurial spirit or even a good idea that could become a business. They are taking the opportunity to identify gaps in the market and ways of doing things better to change their own lives and potentially the lives of others who they may employ in the future.

Now I have been back and spoken to many of the businesses I spoke to during the early days of the Pandemic and the initial lockdown and interestingly almost without exception they have made positive change.

I have seen business owners who have completely changed what they do, those who have taken to opportunity to sell into new markets, develop new products and create new challenges for themselves and in the main they have not only survived but grown either in personal experience or in actual business growth terms.

There have been casualties but those that I have seen were not particularly healthy before the pandemic and the market changes but had managed to make profit and a living despite themselves. Once under pressure or challenged the cracks appear.

So What do we learn?

  • Sometimes we need to take a step back and embrace change - those that have in the main have a bright and positive future

  • Seek support and advice from others - I have been amazed and proud of how the business community has pulled together and have seen amazing collaborations born out of the change.

  • Look for opportunity not barriers - we have seen some incredible opportunities come out of the pandemic and Brexit so be ready to take them.

  • Make sure your business is future proof - continue to review your business and remain agile. Do not become complacent

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