The problem for the business community today is that many businesspeople are operating in a world of increasing change where many of the old norms of business have been found wanting. Meanwhile, wise businesspeople are also conscious that they need to think about how their business is going to operate in the future.
Change was less dramatic in the past which meant businesspeople had an opportunity to take a slow and steady approach to evaluate what was best for their business. Changes made were therefore, more measured and driven by a sense of security they were valid for those times. This former luxury of time, is no longer often available.
The current problem, which will impact on how we operate in the future, is that too many businesspeople are stuck in yesterday’s time warp. As a result, they have failed to protect their businesses from the consequences of the current business environment, let alone set up their businesses for the future.
Very briefly, the current business environment is affected by; and not limited to the following factors.
The current amount of outstanding debt in all its forms. Debt has been the cause of the demise of so many businesses to date. The fact that debt is being encouraged today at the expense of savings, will have a profound affect in the future, if it hasn’t already negatively affected many current businesses.
Time waits for no one. It is obvious to many, there is still little emphasis on selling goods and services properly, or on collecting the cash from unpaid invoices as soon as possible.
The focus on technology, often at the expense of common sense. Today, the focus on technology is valid. Unfortunately, too often there is a corresponding lack of focus on how technology will change our businesses.
For example, technology not fit for purpose can be just as costly to your business as relying on inexperienced or disenfranchised employees. Interestingly however, when employing people, they are vetted on the basis of how they will fit into the business. When employing technology on the other hand, it appears it is rarely reviewed for suitability of purpose, or how it will later affect the business’s other operations.
Technology does not own any money, people do! This means if you want to obtain other peoples’ money honestly, your business needs people to encourage the people with money, to spend it with your business.
The intervention of central bankers, politicians and their bureaucrats has created a false business narrative. The ramifications of these people has already affected so many people negatively in the short term. Until there is a clearer picture of what they created, we can only speculate the long-term effect at this time.
Yesterday’s business models are already out of date. The problem with many business models is that businesspeople all too often become welded to them. When change happens therefore, rarely are these models modified until outside influences are forced upon them.
Currently, the “entitlement generation”, are negatively affecting all commercial and consumer creditors. What we are seeing today is that governments, debtors and do-gooders, are advocating that debtors are entitled, without negotiation, to make changes to contracts and normal business arrangements. Many of these entitlements which benefit debtors, have negative ramifications for suppliers and creditors, which in turn, are threatening the very viability of suppliers and financiers.
The value of risk is minimised. Risk is not just about doing something it also is about NOT doing something. Viewing risk as a negative, is to lose sight of the positive benefits of understanding risk. Understanding risk is always about knowing, and the more you know about the world around you, the better placed you are to survive and grow your business.
It is the above factors which will dictate the state your business will be in when the new normal world becomes evident. Relying solely on the known business practices prior to the pandemic, will not be sufficient to allow us to survive. We must use the lessons of history, with appropriate business practices which have stood the test of time, coupled with the best of technology and people resources now available.
In Part Two of this blog, I will put forward the main factors we are likely all to find in the new normal.
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