Although the Olympics temporarily lifted our spirits, UK businesses continue to be plagued by the negative effects of the recession if we are to believe media commentators.
But are they? There’s some school of thought that it is actually the persistent bad mood surrounding the current state of the economy and represented almost daily in the media that is actually depressing business owners rather than bad business itself.
In fact, many businesses are reporting growth and improved trading conditions, both of which are positive signs of recovery.
Are businesses better or worse off than they were 12 months ago?
Many of the Business Exposure Group members are doing well, but the impact of negative stories about the economy and national scandals in banking or Government conceals any progress and places a pessimistic cloud over businesses.
Human emotions are contagious and negative perceptions can contribute to irrational behaviour and exaggerate economic highs and lows.
Is logic in business not better than allowing ourselves to be influenced by the mood?
How do you manage slow growth or forecast in uncertain times?
We are always chasing a slice of someone else’s pie which is why the mood will always be stressful. Maybe the key to success and survival is to better manage expectations. If you’re growing at more than your competition you’re doing well.
How we run our businesses has to be based on long-term beliefs. We must look for a long horizon so that the mood doesn’t impact.
With the explosion in digital media and 24-7 news, so many people are now responsible for creating and spreading the mood which means we can’t control the message any more. How scary is that?!
Research has shown that in areas where people are more optimistic, an economic recession is weaker and recovery faster.
Are we placing unnecessary stress on our businesses by allowing ourselves to be influenced by the mood reflected in the media?
How long should our order book be full? Do we need to be more realistic about our expectations and satisfied with our performance? All growth is growth after all.
When things need to change fast we are always trying to find our feet and adapt. We need to learn how not to be swayed by the mood so that we can be inspirational leaders and motivate our staff and customers.
In reality the biggest obstacles businesses face today are:
- Lack of funding
- Recruiting and motivating talented staff
- Managing people
- Not having the right technology
- Internal communication to complete critical projects
These are physical barriers which can affect performance and profit and entrepreneurs need to concentrate on the issues at hand rather than allow themselves to suffocate under a global mood of doom and gloom which probably has no relevance to their business situation.
This article was taken from a discussion of the Business Exposure Group.
If you are a Director or business owner and would like to attend one of their round-table discussions, please contact Philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk