British Industry Leaders Meet to Discuss Effective Methods for Business Growth in 2020

Made News

 

Whilst we enter into what is undoubtedly a challenging economic time for the UK, our members met on Tuesday 18th August in the expo's first Virtual Roundtable to discuss how this historical moment can be looked back on as one of opportunity.

This morning's roundtable discussion was on "Business Growth" and it was awe inspiring to see so many experts in their field contributing to a thought-provoking and inspiring discussion. With 20+ experts chosen by Made in Group for this meeting, the attendees were split into two smaller "breakout rooms" via Zoom.

The aftermath of COVID-19 was of course a common issue expressed by the attendees. However, for some firms, furlough and lockdown has given businesses the opportunity to assess their operations with a far clearer lense, leading to heightened productivity and providing the necessary push to make cost reductions.

For others, the sales strategy which was laid out at the turn of the year back in January has had to be entirely torn up and re-written. However, some attendees were insistent that, whilst the goalposts may have been moved, the opportunity to hit targets was still very achievable.

One key bit of advice that ran true throughout both groups was the importance of keeping the sales force positive, whilst looking to lateral thinking - thinking differently - as a way of maintaining success. Looking back at history was one practical example of this, for example, asking the question of how we got out of a similar predicament back in the 2008 recession?

Another way to incite business growth during this time may be to assess how your business can align to the modern world - with the Zoom call in which this point was made providing a fitting setting. Following this theme, one question we asked members on our roundtable today was - with the advent of remote working forcing many businesses into new and digital ways of working - would you take any of these processes into the future if everything suddenly went back to "normal"? 

For most, there are at least some processes, digital or otherwise, which have been stumbled upon during this remote working period, which firms will look to continue with as we get closer to a "post" 2020 UK business landscape. On the topic of investing in modern ways of working and operating, one participant said the following:

"Neglecting digital is not going to kill you today, but it will kill you in 3-5 years."

Do we agree, UK manufacturing and engineering leaders? The reality is, our industry has not always been the quickest to embrace the notion of "digital", however, as we can see through looking across to sectors who for many reasons have been more quickly engulfed by digitalisation - such as retail - those smaller companies who invested in e-commerce and online presence most at the outset have now become indisputable market leaders (e.g. Amazon) at the expense of the more conservative (e.g. Toys "R" Us).

Other attendees called for a stronger emphasis on "supply chain resilience", with the downside of globalisation having of course been most tangible this year, with many supply chains reliant on the likes of China being disrupted massively.

Ultimately, a common conclusion for many members was that it is vital to look to those sectors and more precisely those firms who are doing best during this time and target these as a new source of sales and growth, even if that means stepping into seemingly unknown territory:

"Don't be afraid of the market. If you're not in a market currently and you want to be, just try it."

Made in Group provides a support network to help with this very notion, giving local UK companies a platform to share best practices and ultimately support one another in business growth.

 

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