The cost of living crisis and businesses in the City

The cost of living crisis and businesses in the City
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Businesses within the City of London are being impacted by the cost of living crisis in much the same way businesses in all cities, towns and villages across the country are right now. The cost of living crisis is a great leveller for us all in the sense that customers and clients will be paying greater attention than ever to what they are paying for a good or a service. It means organisations need to step back, reset and assess if they are truly delivering maximum value. The cost of living crisis is also showing no clear sign of ending soon so businesses in the City should be planning for the situation to carry on well into 2024. Adopt a strategy that builds for all eventualities and which can allow you to pivot to benefit from any change in economic circumstances.

There are other things businesses can do which include:

Keeping the right mindset

This may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually vitally important. You need to maintain a positive attitude and have a clear plan. You have the ability to control your own destiny. So focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. Set your goals and work towards them one step at a time. Get organised and make a budget.

Remaining agile and resilient to market changes

Agility should become a top priority for high-growth businesses as they cope with the ramifications of the recession. These new policies will inevitably bring market and pricing changes, where rapid responses from businesses will be crucial to guard slimmer margins. Both long and short-term business plans should incorporate some element of flexibility, working with finance, inventory, and supply chain data to stress test “what-if” scenarios. Then ask questions such as how cash flow will be affected, what evasive manoeuvres can be taken, and how risk can be lowered with preventative measures.

Use cloud technology and automation to your advantage

Achieving a high level of data visibility is only possible in the cloud, essential for running critical aspects of a business, including accurate financial reporting, remote management, and speeding up manual processes. Cloud users are more able to automate key processes and avoid manual work (85% vs 37% of non-users). With a laser focus on cost-cutting, automation is a great way for your business to do more with less, while making employees’ roles more fulfilling.

Pick up crucial new skills

Technology is just one part of the puzzle. To remain agile and be able to react quickly to new challenges, one of the most important factors is the willingness of leaders to pick up new skills as they expand. Business owners and management teams should make time for training despite the new economic pressures, learning from peers, experts, and mentors to further grow and enhance their business.

I’d urge businesses to do three things:

Sustain investment, strip inefficiencies, and mount a drive to increase market share. Focusing on these three areas, underpinned by an increase in overall business efficiency, will provide businesses with the greatest possibility of long-term success when the recession eventually passes.

By placing a greater focus on business efficiency, as opposed to simply cutting costs as an immediate reaction to economic downturn, businesses can ensure their survival and long-term viability – businesses that demonstrate an ability to be agile and efficient are better equipped to adapt to changing and volatile markets, maintaining their competitiveness, conserving their resources, and solidifying their future growth.

Matthew Hayes is Managing Director of Brand agency, Champions (UK) Plc

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