Don’t look back – you’re not going that way

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There’s no hiding from the times, says Dorset Chamber CEO Ian Girling, but keep moving forwards. Working together everyone can be stronger

fed up with the constant depressing news coming from the media. Yes, we know it’s a very challenging time; a cost of living crisis, soaring domestic and business energy costs, huge inflationary pressures and spiralling interest rates. This is on top of the current recruitment crisis and the long-term challenges that have been thrown at businesses by Brexit, COVID and now, the terrible events in Ukraine. These are all very serious issues and it’s easy to feel despondent if you watch the news.

Stubborn resilience
We recently held a business exhibition with over 200 business people attending and it struck me how resilient businesses are. So many of the people I spoke to shared their concerns regarding the doom and gloom but were also very clear we need to get on with things and maintain a positive, can-do approach. Business has to continue and to look to the future. We must keep business going. Ultimately the event was alive with energy and optimism and I came away inspired.

Keep looking forward
Of course, there’s no hiding form the fact that it is a challenging climate, that should not be overlooked. But there are practical steps that businesses can take. Cashflow needs to be carefully managed – but we must keep cash circulating around the economy and I would encourage all business to treat their suppliers fairly in this respect. Obviously all businesses need to look at efficiencies and see where savings can be made. Unprofitable areas of activity within businesses should be identified and corrected.
However it is important to keep looking forward. Businesses should maintain a focus on their marketing and future plans. I’d strongly suggest all businesses look at their digital platforms such as websites and social media channels to ensure any and all opportunities are being maximised.
Businesses also need to look after their staff in this challenging climate to ensure core capability and skills remain in the business. And I’d urge businesses to work together and support each other. This is vital, and a core offering of Chambers of Commerce.
We will get through this.

And lastly…
It’s hard to believe Christmas is upon us already. I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a happy Christmas and peaceful and successful New Year.

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