With the general election campaign raging on, it is difficult to turn on the TV or open a newspaper without hearing something about the current state of the economy and how it either will or will not improve in the coming months and years. Given the political currency that parties can earn through their assessment of the economy right now, it is tough for business owners to get a good grasp on what they can actually expect to happen in the near future. Figures just released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) however, might just help to shed a little light.
According to those figures, whilst the UK economy is a full 2.4% larger than at this time last year, it grew just 0.3% in the three months up to the end of March 2015. To put that into context that is only half the size of the growth experienced in the final three months of 2014 and is actually the slowest quarterly growth for two years.
The response to these figures from the two main parties currently fighting the election understandably differed, but both suggested that these are somewhat sobering statistics. Chancellor George Osborne claimed that ‘It’s good news that the economy has continued to grow, but we have reached a critical moment. Today is a reminder that you can’t take the recovery for granted.’ From the other side of the House of Commons however, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls asserted that ‘While the Tories have spent months patting themselves on the back these figures show they have not fixed the economy for working families.’
Regardless of your political leanings however, what these figures should suggest to business owners is that hanging in and waiting for a radically improved national economy to change your own company’s fortunes for the better, may not be the best course of action. Instead then, it might just be time to take responsibility for your ‘own economy’ and look at how you might grow your business regardless of the wider national economic climate. That is obviously no small undertaking but if you follow the couple of simple tips below, then you stand a much better chance of seeing your company go from strength to strength.
Firstly, if you’re looking to grow your business and improve your own economic circumstances, you need to initially look inwards before you look outwards. It is crucial before attempting any kind of growth or expansion to ensure that your own systems, infrastructure and IT are performing at their best so that you have a solid foundation to build upon. What’s more, a frank assessment of your business’s current strengths and weaknesses can also help to sensibly direct any future growth.
Once you have completed that vital phase of introspection, you can begin to look toward real expansion but when you do so you must realise that any real and sustainable growth takes time and effort. You cannot improve your economic situation in the long term with any kind of quick fix or short cut, and instead must put in the hours to ensure that any growth is efficiently managed and well costed.
With that grounding in the simple and yet crucial psychological of expansion, you can look towards more specific avenues of potential growth and one such that you could consider is that of diversification. This is a really useful way to potentially expand your company and could include offering different products and services, embracing new formats for the supply of your existing goods or tweaking some products to make them available at different price points.
Whether you do take the avenue of diversification or find a direction of your own, as long as you take responsibility and keep our simple tips in mind, the ‘economy’ of your own business is sure to be in safe hands; yours.
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