14th December 2020Where there is a challenge, there is opportunity! Reflections on 2020
2020 has been a year unlike any other. It has been a challenge for all of us, in all walks of professional and private lives, but where there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity!
Our hope is the world starts to get back some form of relative “normality”, but that we learn from the positives that have come out of 2020 and don’t just revert to the way things used to be.
It’s important that we learn from this year and continue to evolve as individuals and businesses so that we can come back stronger. Our partners reflect on 2020 and share their advice for the year ahead.
Our reflections on 2020
- Good cash flow management is vital
Cash flow management is key, and business and charities need to accumulate sufficient reserves. Having said that, many businesses – like those in the hospitality sector – could never have foreseen a 95% or more cut in their revenues, which was unprecedented.
- Sticking closely to your mission, purpose and values is essential
In all the uncertainty that 2020 has created, we have learned that sticking closely to your mission, purpose and values is essential for a business that wants to emerge stronger. This will dictate how you deal with customers and clients, treat your staff and how your market perceives you. Those firms which have been “outed” for not playing by the rules or betraying their values have suffered real reputational damage.
- Change can be achieved incredibly quickly
Most businesses are more adaptable than you think. Various sectors and individual businesses have shown a huge amount of resilience and adaptability, whether it meant changing their product or services lines almost entirely or just changing their internal ways of operating. The ability to adapt and move quickly has never been so important.
- Relationships matter
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of prioritising relationships with customers, employees and suppliers. Creating valued relationships within your business will breed a foundation of loyalty and trust which will pay dividends during difficult times.
Looking ahead to 2021
- Brexit will be a challenge – Prepare for a no deal and seek support and advice from your accountant as soon as possible, particularly if you are trading across borders.
- Banks need to make it easier to lend – Otherwise many businesses will never recover from the pandemic.
- The Chancellor’s budget will be critical – The Chancellor must bring in a budget that balances the need for an economic recovery, makes the UK an attractive place for business post Brexit, while also starting the process of paying for the economic stimulus that was required for the pandemic.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of flexibility – This year will have highlighted new and different ways of doing things, and we should all continue to embrace innovation and create an agile business culture so that we can all react and adapt quickly during challenging times.
- Let’s keep some realistic optimism! 2020 has been difficult, and we all need some optimism and hope for the year ahead. However, maintain realism. Update your business plan or write one if you don’t have one already. Focus on the strengths of your business and where the opportunities for the future lie.