After the economic shock of the pandemic, businesses are seeking to grow and, to coin a phrase, build back better. But the recovery isn’t without its challenges.
Demand has recovered much faster than supply, and it’s causing shortages and bottlenecks. Businesses are struggling with staffing shortages and supply chain disruptions that have no clear end in sight.
It makes for an uncertain and choppy recovery that proves a challenge to many businesses in managing cash flow and sourcing funding to enable investment in growth.
In this environment, it’s essential that the advisory community work together to give companies the help they need to trade through the challenging times and grow.
There is lots of evidence to show that the accountants, lawyers and financiers that entrepreneurs need to thrive are mutually supportive. It’s clear that companies need a new era of proactivity where advisors proactively address issues within a business to give them a leg up they need.
We expect to see greater consolidation in industry sectors as companies seek to mitigate the risk of a volatile market and seek cost efficiencies to drive growth. As the mergers and acquisitions market grows, it will create lots of opportunities for the advisory community to go the extra mile and create longer and more meaningful relationships with businesses.
Currently, the UK unemployment rate is estimated at 4.5%, only marginally higher than before the pandemic, and the number of job vacancies in the UK has hit a record high, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.
With over 1.1m vacancies between July and September, staffing issues are likely to continue to throttle growth over the coming months. Where possible, companies will look to invest in technology to make their operations more efficient and resilient to staff shortages. It is the duty of the advisory community to come together to address these big issues.
The retail sector drives so much of the economy, and December usually sees households spend a third more than usual. If the current transport and supply chain issues aren’t resolved, it is likely that this Christmas will have more ‘bah humbug’ than seasonal cheer for retailers. It’s vital to remember that these are profitable businesses in a usual economy and need the support of advisors to get them over these humps, which are not of their making.
Advisors can work together to assist businesses in forming a business plan that enables funding to be unlocked, which in turn can drive future growth. Coming together now and addressing any problems from a forecasting perspective can prevent bigger problems from developing down the line.
At Fresh Thinking Capital, we are doing our bit to create opportunities for professionals to get together and hopefully support each other. The coming weeks will see a new networking group launched by our younger members of the team to bring together younger professionals from across the advisory community.
Perhaps there are fewer regular forums to meet and discuss the issues of the day, but Yorkshire has strong informal networks that can be activated when needed. So now is the time to reach into those black books to help companies that need to move forward.
Entrepreneurs look to their advisors to have strong networks and be able to solve problems in a timely manner. The professionals with the best connections will be well placed to solve issues proactively.
There is huge value in the region’s advisory network, and now is the time to come together to positively address the challenges businesses face. A collective effort will help to fuel growth, create jobs and build a better economy.