Change is constant. History shows us that for centuries British businesses have constantly had to adapt to changes outside their sphere of control. Some changes have been gradual such as rising trends and fashions, while others have been seismic.
When the World Wide Web first connected hypertext documents into a centralised information system, who could have imagined the impact the resulting internet would go on to have on business – not to mention the subsequent evolution of social media. If you had predicted that in the future, we would have grocery stores with no staff and no checkout your sanity may have been questioned!
Sometimes the effect of change can be limited to a sector, such as our village stores which drastically dwindled in number with the rise of the supermarkets. In other cases, whole industries such as coal or steel have almost disappeared, taking with them thousands of other businesses involved in the supply chain. Yet change can bring opportunity and growth. Take a drive through Corby in Northamptonshire, originally a ‘new town’ built on ‘steel’ now a thriving mixed economy.
For every business, the last few years have been challenging for a variety of reasons, not least the pandemic. Now the huge rise in energy costs and the consequent effects, as well as the impact on many other commodities resulting from events taking place across the world, are beginning to test businesses.
Yet business owners continue to demonstrate an adaptable attitude. In recent times, increased bureaucracy and holdups meant many exporters had to find new routes to European markets. To adapt, one Westcountry cheesemaker opened a virtual office in the Netherlands and rerouted through Rotterdam, increasing his volumes as a result. During the pandemic, some manufacturers were able to switch production to supply PPE to the NHS and other organisations. And many other businesses had to quickly develop an on-line presence as the country went into lockdown – and in doing so, added a new capability to their offerings.
To survive and ultimately thrive during periods of change, most of us recognise that businesses need to be resilient and adaptable. But the key to this is having the ability to react quickly. To this end, businesses are investing in themselves by upgrading equipment, upskilling people, diversifying their offering and introducing new technology to better position themselves to take advantage of opportunities that emerge.
There will always be change; is your business ready for it?
FOLK2FOLK offers secured business loans for almost any purpose. Contact us for a chat to find out if we can help you.