As we enter a new decade, it’s a crucial time for businesses across the UK to start thinking about what’s ahead, particularly for the small business community. At Monese, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with small business experts in the field, including organisations like the Yorkshire Mafia, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Arjun Singh, advertising guru and business owner.
We want to be sure to keep on top of the latest trends and concerns for businesses across the country as we enter 2020. With their needs in mind, we can bring the best solutions for our business customers at Monese and keep key issues at the centre of discussions in the community.
We first spoke with the Yorkshire Mafia, the North of England’s largest B2B membership group, which brings together 15,000 business professionals each year. We asked about what major challenges small businesses would face and what’s at the top of their minds in 2020. Unsurprisingly, Brexit is certainly the largest problem lying ahead.
Once Brexit is done and over with, small companies can then invest and focus their energies on adaptation.
“Brexit has been front and centre on everyone’s minds — including businesses and small business owners”, says Janie Gonsalez, Business Development Executive. Andrew Haldenby, Managing Director, expands: “The fog from it all will take time to lift. When it does, organisations will worry about skills, training, digital transformation, among other things. Once Brexit is done and over with, small companies can then invest and focus their energies on adaptation. As of now, though, businesses can start planning for specific possibilities. For example, we now know we’ll be able to do agreed trade deals with other nations, which will impact industries that rely on international trade”.
Another hot topic that will continue to be debated in 2020, and this decade is climate change. Colin Borland, Director of Devolved Nations at FSB, shared his thoughts on how global warming presents a challenge for us all but also a great opportunity for small businesses in particular: “Moving to net-zero will be a big deal in the 2020s”, he stated. “Potential opportunities could be charging infrastructure for electric cars, the first low-emission zones in Scotland, which could change what vehicles are purchased, and replacing gas burners in the UK. Someone has to do it”.
Climate change is going to affect your business in some shape or form.
The advice Borland gives to small businesses looking to tackle climate change in 2020 and the years ahead is: “Climate change is going to affect your business in some shape or form. From the energy solutions you use for your commercial premises, to regulatory changes like the compulsory deposit and return scheme that will affect your business operations, there will always be a need to adapt to changing circumstances. Keep informed on these issues and find the best solutions for your business.”
In general, his piece of advice for small businesses is to keep up with industry news and the wider world. “The most successful business people I know are interested in what is going on around them”, he said. “Keep engaged and informed”.
Finally, we talked with Arjun Singh, an advertising expert with more than 20 years of industry experience. He explained the need for greater diversity among organisations today, along with a focus on nurturing young talent. “We're living through a time of great change and uncertainty, and every business is either tinkering with the way they work or overhauling their structures entirely”.
It is more important than ever to create a workplace that has more tolerance, diversity and a programme in place to nurture talent.
He said: “Most businesses are still powered by people and culture. It is more important than ever to create a workplace that has more tolerance, diversity and a programme in place to nurture talent. I don't see enough of that in most businesses”. He added: “Nurturing talent is time consuming and not revenue-generating in the short-term; however, at 42, I feel that I have a huge amount to pass on and also a huge amount to learn from the new generation of talent”.
So, what does this all mean for the world of business? Twenty-twenty will be a year of promising change, challenges and renewal for business owners. The same can be said for our product and community here at Monese. As we continue to grow and expand, the most important things for us to keep at the heart of what we do are the needs and challenges faced by our customers.
What are your predictions for the business scene in 2020? If you have any useful insights you’d like to share with us, let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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