It is predicted that Britain will fall into recession this week. The threat of recession, and it is difficult to see how a significant recession can be avoided in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, is not a new experience.
Britain and Europe face the dual challenge of coping with Brexit hard on the heels of an unexpected and largely unprepared for the pandemic. In both instances there are still a substantial amount of "unknowns" and many organisations are finding that their carefully laid plans with regard to Brexit have been turned upside down by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The survivors will be the businesses that are led by individuals who see how to adapt and have the agility to do so. Commercial leaders will need cool heads to look at their existing business models and see clearly where there is leverage. Over or under reaction is equally unwelcome. One in three companies expects to make redundancies by the end of September according to the Spring Quarterly report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) together with the recruitment agency the Adecco Group. The survey has found there are a range of additional survival actions that businesses are taking to help them continue from pay freezes, bonus cuts and a veto on recruitment.
It is absolutely crucial that businessmen and women recognise there will be an inevitable and unavoidable evolution in the way the commercial world will do business in the immediate future and long term. Just as your business has felt the impact of the pandemic so have your customers. The strength of the relationship and your understanding of your clients' changing needs will make a difference to the between you and your customer. Everyone needs the best deal possible to be able to keep going. A constant review of client requirements and an eye on the rivals is essential. If paring down the workforce becomes inevitable, make sure that your slimed down team has the ablest employees.
Despite the fact that the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is likely to report that the Gross Domestic Product plunged 21 per cent in three months, doom and gloom is not the prevailing attitude everywhere. Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, expressed the optimistic view that the economic impact of the pandemic "may not be a severe as initially feared."
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