Two things have crossed my mind recently. The first is blindingly obvious. The UK is heading for a very very difficult period economically, with few of us yet feeling the realities of what will be left once Government support for jobs is lifted and the true unemployment and national debt picture hits. The second is less obvious I think. It is small entrepreneurial businesses that are going to be key to getting us out of this mess.
In service industries like ours, there’s an old adage that the bigger you are the less likely you are to fail. Starting a consultancy business in normal times feels like a mad race to reach critical mass, to show clients that you’re established enough that you’ll be here to look after them in a few years’ time. Lots of people, big swanky offices and trophy art on the walls are all part of the narrative.
Post Covid I think this has changed. It’s the smaller businesses with established brands, that are still in the mindset of managing their cost bases carefully, that will thrive. These businesses tend to be asset-light and haven’t saddled themselves with debt or even expensive offices in WC2 or E1. They are going to be in a much better place to withstand an economic nuclear winter than their bigger, more established counterparts. Our business has grown exponentially during lockdown, and, I’m proud to say, we’re creating jobs in the process. Our cost base remains low, and it remains flexible, and this allows us to remain confident about the future – whatever it throws at us.