The next few months are impossible to predict and therefore difficult to plan, so think different. Blend specialism with generalism.

When I got my first job, the first thing my bank did was send me a credit card: instant debt. So I started to run my finances like many FDs run those of their company: manage borrowings by cutting the cost line and growing the top line.

It took me a long time to realise that I didn’t have to chase after every sales incentive I could see. All I had to do was stop using the card. In other words, see the blindingly obvious – work out a budget and follow it through.

What had made things difficult for me were the unexpected expenses, not least of which was a 15% mortgage rate. But this is what passes for financial control in more businesses than perhaps we all realise.

Q4 2020 – Q1 2021

The next few months are impossible to predict. We’re told that the world is falling apart and yet we’re still expected to keep businesses alive and kicking. Some sectors will inevitably find this easier than others; many are already feeling the squeeze.

So, are the unexpected things that could throw your plan off-course really unexpected?

Let’s have a look at that.

COVID-19 is expected to flare up again as the weather gets cooler. This will have consequences: international travel will dry up again, domestic travel will be harder as public transport has reduced capacity, online shopping will continue to grow – high street visits can’t recover when we can’t go out.

Don’t forget the flu either. The NHS always sees a winter spike in demand. This year could be exceptional.

These are real and present dangers facing most business sectors. Although we might assume that service industries such as accountancy and law might escape, no-one is immune. If contracts aren’t being signed or deals done, accountants don’t win clients. If courts aren’t open, solicitors can’t act for clients. And a similar story will play out elsewhere.

The massive shift to homeworking has shown us that commuting isn’t essential. As a result, people working at home have begun to move away from cities and into towns and villages. Rental values in cities are already dropping in commercial and residential sectors, while rental values and house prices in less populated areas are doing OK. These sorts of connections can be made across many industries.

How about some other big factors?

In November the US goes to the polls. In December the UK leaves the EU. Both of these events have direct impact on the UK’s trading future. Brexit is a turning point in the UK’s economic history that few are prepared to look upon as a good idea and, whatever the eventual outcome, this winter looks like supply chains are going to be stretched. Don’t forget, the Chinese New Year happens in February. Another bump in the road.

Then there’s the weather. More floods are forecast this winter than we saw at the beginning of 2020. Rising water levels have been a known phenomenon for years, but many flood defences still aren’t adequate and planners haven’t stopped granting development permission on flood plains.

The blindingly obvious is a bit uncomfortable to consider, and I know this is a list of possible doom and gloom, but the fact is that many of us choose to keep doing what we’ve become used to doing despite what common sense tells us.

What to do

Think different. Blend specialism with generalism.

Your specialism is what you do. Ours is what we do. What we do is everything you don’t.

If you want to explore why house rents and the numbers of commuters might affect you, as just one example, please pick up the phone or email to book an initial conversation.

It’ll cost you nothing and it may lead to a great partnership and a new strategic view.

Working together, you’ll benefit from ideas and insight that we will deliver in a way that helps your team plan a radical response to disruption.  

The plan that will follow our process will not only make the radical completely reasonable, it will give you options to switch to if the unexpected events written into your strategy actually come to pass.

It’s a big promise and it’s a big job. Are you prepared to take it on? We are. Book a call now.

Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.

room44 How can we help?