Challenges facing businesses in 2018

UK businesses are facing a tough time. From political and economic uncertainties to ever-changing technologies.

Below is a quick guide on how businesses can attract and retain new customers in 2018.

UK Business landscape from 2007-2018

Over the past 10 years’ British business have faced some huge challenges. A recession hit in 2007, followed by a banking collapse in 2008. At the height of the economic downturn as many as 50 businesses closed each day. Reasons included declining sales due and the credit crunch. This meant businesses could not access credit from banks or other lending institutions.

Across the country, many industries were hit hard. Even large businesses like Woolworths and Blockbuster weren’t safeguarded. In fact, no business was “too big to fail”. RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) also collapsed. RBS was most known for sponsoring the Six Nations Rugby Tournament.

Following the recession surviving UK businesses continued to struggle. During this time there was a rise in ‘discount retailers’.

Poundland, Lidl, and Primark all saw their profits increase whilst others stagnated. By 2015-2014 the economy and business landscape showed signs of recovery. However, in 2016 UK Businesses were dealt a huge blow.

On June 23rd 2016, The UK voted to leave the EU in what was called ‘Brexit’. Since then, there have been many discussions about the impact of Brexit.

Challenges facing businesses in 2018

A number of tough challenges lie ahead for businesses in 2018. Successfully navigating the changing business landscape will be key to survival. Avoiding mistakes made in the past will also affect how businesses perform.

1. Brexit

Brexit is still somewhat a mystery which makes it a scary proposition. Without clear guidance from government officials, businesses are left with many questions. From recent studies, we can identify two areas where Brexit will hit. Firstly, in recruitment.

Once upon a time recruiting in the UK was a dream, now it could be a nightmare. Brexit has made the UK highly unattractive for foreign workers. For non-national employees, their immigration status is pending.

Industries hiring for specialised positions will be affected the most. Brexit has also impacted the value of the pound. Once a strong reliable currency, the pound is on shaky ground. Inflation and trade are likely to suffer if the pound remains unstable.

2. New payment technologies

In order to meet consumer demands, businesses must constantly adapt. Customers online and on the high street are demanding faster service. For online customers one area identified for change is payment.

Decreasing the amount of time spent at an online checkout is vital. This means putting down credit and debit cards. Both of which are time considering, given the amount of information required. New payment technologies like iDebit and Amazon are hassle-free. IDebit simply allows customers to pay directly from their online banking.

Voiding the need to break out the plastic. Amazon pay simply allows Amazon customers to pay using their stored payment methods. Both methods are free to use and time efficient. For high street shops adapting PDQ machines for contactless is a must.

3. Social media

Social media allows for instant communication between people. For businesses incorporating social media is vital. Facebook statistics show there are over 2 billion users worldwide. For businesses looking to market themselves, that’s a huge audience.

If successful businesses will find social media to be very multi-functional. Firstly, social media is a communication tool. Many retailers list Facebook as a contact method. Response times are even recorded on Facebook and shown to customers.

Secondly, Social media is a marketing tool. Special offers and advertisements can all be promoted on social media. However, strategies and good content are needed to make social media work.

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