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Cotswold Life talks financial with David Anderson, Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill

PUBLISHED: 11:09 16 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:27 20 February 2013

Cotswold Life talks financial with David Anderson, Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill

Cotswold Life talks financial with David Anderson, Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill

2012 – an Olympic year for Cotswolds Business?

Cotswold Life talks financial with David Anderson, Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill



2012 an Olympic year for Cotswolds Business?



Businesses content to sit tight and wait for their markets to return are much less likely to emerge from the downturn quickly, according to David Anderson, Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill, the national audit, tax and business advisory firm. Caution is admirable, points out David who is based at the firms Cheltenham offices, but without investment in both market analysis to see which direction to drive the business forward, and appropriately skilled management to ensure the right course and speed, a business will find itself behind the pack when the recovery comes.



Continued considered investment in the business is essential. There is only so long you can survive with the same company vehicles, office technology and old stock without it affecting the way you operate, as well as the way others view you, he says.



His predictions for 2012 are less gloomy than those of some media commentators, who often prefer to run misery headlines than look for positive indicators. However, it is professional services companies such as Crowe Clark Whitehill that really do have a handle on whats happening in the UK economy, working as they are with a variety of businesses of all sizes every day.



In my view inflation will have dropped down to around 3 per cent by the end of next year and the UK will hopefully see growth of around 2 per cent, David says.


One of the big unknowns of 2012 he admits, is the Olympics. Will it be a net income-earner for the country, or a damp squib? The Government and UK Trade & Investment is working hard to showcase the best of British business to the world, and though the main Olympic stadiums in East London seem a long way away from the Cotswolds, some local firms are hoping for an upsurge in business, either supplying goods and services for the Games themselves, or offering the area as a tourist destination before or after the event.



SO HOW CAN BUSINESSES SHAPE UP FOR 2012?



Here is some sound advice from David at Crowe Clark Whitehill, one of the Cotswolds most respected business advisers:



Dont just read the news headlines, look beyond them to understand whats really going on and build your company strategy accordingly. British industry is good at talking itself down, but ask anyone overseas and theyll tell you that Brand Britain has enormous cache. If a product is not only designed, but made in Britain, it is going to have a higher value than the same product designed here but made abroad.



Britain is still a great place to do business, but look internationally too there are huge opportunities to do business overseas and many local companies are powering forward in foreign fields. Everyones talking about China. Crowe Clarke Whitehill has an experienced Far East desk in its London offices willing to share knowledge and information about opportunities there.



Does your business have the capability to be flexible and adaptable? Companies that can adapt themselves to fast-changing economic environments will be better placed to take advantage of opportunities.



Look at your companys resources. Do you and your staff possess the right skill set to drive the business forward? Are there processes and procedures that are no longer relevant for your companys future success? Now is a very good time to sort this out. Invest in your staff and ensure that they are put in a role which suits them best.



For entrepreneurial businesses this is particularly important. A foresighted entrepreneur will understand that he or she may have the initial vision to create and bring a product to market, but may not necessarily be the right person to drive the business forward that takes an entirely different set of skills. Far better to recruit someone who has strong management skills to drive, and put yourself to work in developing the product, or creating a new one to ensure the businesss future success.



If youre patting yourself on the back because you do have a strategy for growth pause and ask yourself whether that strategy addresses the current mind-set of the staff? Do they feel threatened by such change and do they need to be shown the opportunities it presents for them and the company as a whole?



For all this to happen, strong leadership is a fundamental, and senior management needs time not only to create a plan for change and development, but also the space to reflect on what that will mean for the business. Dont be afraid to take time out of the day-to-day treadmill of answering emails and responding to problems. As in any other avenue of life, perspective is essential.


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