Is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ in reality a train coming towards us?

After all these months of hoping and waiting, finally there it was: The Prime Minister set us all on course back to normality on his now-famous ‘one way road to freedom’. In spite of hesitancy elsewhere, there does seem some merit in his assertions that this time – with over 20 million vaccinations at the time of writing – yes this time it really is the beginning of the end of the lockdown.

Back to the middle of March 2020, we analysed the businesses we represented and forecast whether they could withstand a future storm, a storm which incidentally I confidently predicted would blow over completely by September 2020(!). Thankfully our early predictions have been too pessimistic so far. Wave after wave of Covid support provided by the Chancellor has enabled even the least likely candidates the chance to survive.

And nearly 12 months on it’s tempting to think that ‘if they’ve survived this, then they can survive anything’ and it simply isn’t true. Now, perhaps more than ever, the critical support can not be withdrawn, for it is going to take months and months of normalisation to return to anything like normal.

So whilst we are all undoubtedly feeling more positive, do we as business owners really have reason to be positive?

Well the long and short answer is that it just too early to tell. Even with the dizzying pace of the UK vaccination rollout, it is still many, many months until all adults have received their first jab. And once the various economic initiatives come to an end, we don’t know which businesses will be standing and which will be lying in rubble.

Whilst our dear leaders have given us crutches on which we have relied, now is the time we must learn once more to stand alone, to live or die by our decision making, to gear up for a world which may have changed since last we looked.

This is a year for survival, for reset, for reorganisation, for rejuvenation and for rebirth.

This is the year for change after change after change.

This is the year for every business to brutally answer the holy trinity:-

How do we achieve the same for less?

How do we achieve more for the same?

How do we achieve more for less?

This is the year that some once-great businesses will fall.

This is the year that some great businesses of the future will be founded.

We’re for the SMEs.

And for business advice that’s anything but samey.