This year, business owners and managers will be confronted by many negative factors all arriving at the same time, that will impact on their business(s) in some form or another. Equally, there will be also a number of positive factors which your business can exploit as the economic environment worsens.
After all, “… one business’s problems, are another business’s opportunities to profit and grow”. The truth over the years has been, is that difficult times reveal some of the most profitable opportunities, and from the most unusual sources, which can be found.
Negative Factors - It is obvious by now, that the leading negative factors in no particular order of importance, will include the following.
1 Many governments throughout the world are broke and to repair their finances as demands for services and support increase, will have to increase taxes, charges and red tape.
2 There will be businesses and families which are financially compromised, or addicted to debt, and with minimal savings.
3 In tough times, history shows us a number of people will seek more expensive or illegal finance options, or commit fraud and other crimes, or increase their drug and gambling habits.
4 A lack of employees as some people may be unable to take up job opportunities, meanwhile smaller businesses will be unable to afford the costs of employing people.
5 The “entitled generation” which believe governments, society and the businesses which employs them, owes them a living, support, or a lifestyle.
7 The lack of affordable accommodation and increased reliance on charities by the poor and disadvantaged.
6 Disruption to supply chains, the conflicts around the world, post COVID issues and climate change factors.
8 The impact of technology and the rush to digitalise everything which in the business finance and banking worlds, has proven to have created more problems than it solves.
9 The war on cash which will lead to lost sales and increase the financial costs on small businesses and families, and is an incentive for increased cybercrime.
10 The effect of increasing interest rates which has yet to be fully felt.
Positive Factors – In tough times, as history shows, conversely, there will be many positive opportunities to grow your businesses, and in no particular order these factors will include the following.
1 Business owners, managers and entrepreneurs rediscovering the art of business as they seek to retain more control over the manner and destiny of their businesses.
2 People will start to appreciate and understand the value and power of cash in the bank over cheap debt, which often proves not to be so cheap in the long term.
3 Progressively, businesspeople will find that digital tools do not owe money, plus, bad technology is as expensive as bad employees and equally destructive on business growth.
4 Businesspeople will finally start to understand the difference between good credit and bad credit, and that includes both credit owed as well as what is owing.
5 Businesspeople and salespeople will start to learn to sell again and not just take and accept orders.
6 Understanding how the right balance between the use of technology tools and committed employees will add exponential value, which just cannot be delivered in the same manner as a poorly based digital businesses.
7 As opportunities arise a more sophisticated approach will become evident as people start to realise dreams, high levels of debt, poor business practices and unqualified financial figures, do not always lead to success.
8 As financial pressures build on your competitors or complimentary businesses, opportunities to take them over, grab their customers, or buy their stock cheaply, will become available.
9 The strongest industry competitor, with a positive organisational culture, will be able to attract the best employees from poorly performing businesses.
10 Innovation will continue to be the key in the use of technology, product development, employing people, working with customers and competitors.
In conclusion, this year, there are many dangers confronting your business and associated stakeholders as the economy worsens. Conversely, there will be many positive opportunities becoming available. Of course, your business must be in a position to take advantage of them.