Sex, lies and videotapes

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger…..!

Politicians: who voted for them? Well we did actually, so whether or not we like them and what they are (or aren’t) doing, we are stuck with them. Therefore, from a business perspective, I think we should view all the stuff in both the US and Europe (including the UK) as a spectator sport – unless of course it will or may impact on business. In other words, ignore and (largely) get on with life.

So, what’s new on a cold January day at the start of 2017? UK unemployment is at or close to the rate that economists call “full employment” (albeit that many of the jobs are at or about the living wage); the results of Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M & S and others have lifted some of the High Street gloom; and while the recent fall in Sterling doesn’t help importers, it does help exporters; and so on. But, are we confident enough to make business decisions: employee more people, make capital investments, open new locations, decide to sell – whatever?

There’s a real risk attached to waiting and seeing because we never know what tomorrow, next year or the next election will bring. Yes, we are trying to forecast/guess in a time of unusual uncertainty, but most (or at least many) of us were in business during the financial crisis in 2008 – and survived that chaos. So, I think that – to the extent we can – we should ignore all the political chaos around us and get back to focussing on our businesses and what we really can influence.

Therefore, what are your business resolutions for 2017?

  • Get the changes made to your employment contracts that you had always meant to do?
  • Stop relying on the terms of business that you copied from somewhere years ago, and get ones that work?
  • Start planning your exit from your business and do the housekeeping needed to make it ready for sale?

They all seem worthwhile that spending ages reading who said or did what with whom (entertaining though that is!).

And of course, my colleagues and I would be happy to help with your shopping list of to-do’s – but a starting point has to be to make that list. What’s holding you back?