If you are running a business at the current time, you can be excused for being slightly nervous about where everything is going and where we are likely to be in a few months or even in a few years.
Since the last of the major Covid-19 related lockdowns, the UK has experienced a strong bounce back economically as people gain confidence to go back out again into shops and restaurants. Demand for goods has risen and companies have been generally feeling a lot more confident about market conditions.
Not everything has been positive. The delays and red tape involved with importing and exporting of goods is causing delays at ports. On the subject of supply chains, the effects of Covid (particularly in China), increased demand for raw materials globally and now the war in Ukraine have caused problems getting hold of materials and products and have added to an increasing issue with price rises across all sectors. Supply chains are under pressure and in crisis.
The cost of living is very much in people’s mind at the current time. We have already witnessed dramatic rises in the cost of gas, petrol and now food. The background root causes of soaring costs are not going to be going away any time soon, so both businesses, governments and consumers are going to have to find ways of living with them.
The final issue causing uncertainty is the matter of the recruitment market. It is currently very much in favour of the employee. There are staff shortages all over the place. This manifests itself in the headlines we see about delays at airports, the passport office, getting a delivery or in trying to see a Doctor, just as a few examples.
The end result of all of this uncertainty and disruption is that it tends to make forward planning for the business community an increasingly difficult task.
If you run a business you need to be keeping up with what is happening at a macro and micro level. To try and future proof your business as much as you can, may we suggest the following things:
- Check your existing supply agreements across the board. Are you on a fixed tariff for energy? When does it end? If you have some breathing space on this, start putting some money away to soften the impact when your existing agreements comes to an end.
- Get rhw’s commercial team to review your contract wording. Can you cover yourself in terms of what you can charge your clients if your basic costs rise steeply? We can help on this.
- Look at your overheads. Are you in very expensive premises? Do you need to be? Have you got a break clause coming up? rhw can advise on commercial property matters.
- Recruitment and retention. Look at what you are offering to existing staff. Look at how your competitors are looking to recruit new staff members. What can you do to make your existing staff want to stay with you and what differentiates you from your competition to help you recruit successfully? rhw’s employment law team can help advise in this area.
Alternatively, email the commercial team email@example.com