Finally, spring has arrived, both meteorologically and metaphorically. I think we are beginning to see the end of the economic “winter” with the passing of the dark days we have endured over the last few years, and the accompanying global and domestic political turmoil; even if we did have to endure a brief late hard frost with the downfall of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse.
My conversations with business owners and private equity firms indicate optimism is improving. This view is supported by the PMI index rising above 50, with even manufacturing expected to become positive in the next month as supply chains improve more rapidly than at any time since April 2009. Having a relatively stable government (and opposition), and apparently leaving behind the mutual antagonism with the EU and the US over the Northern Ireland Protocol, appears to have drawn a line in the sand. So, are we finally in for a period of stability?
Hope springs eternal! With Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes cast into the wilderness, the extremes of both parties seem to have been tamed and, consequently, fiscal prudence should reign, whoever wins the next election. It would be great to see business leaders investing capital and employees investing their brain space and energy into building UK plc and improving productivity.
For all the mayhem around the autumn mini budget, lower taxes must ultimately be the aim if we are to reward our businesses and their employees for their efforts. It is bonkers that people pay 62% tax on earnings between £100k and £125k, and 25% Corporation tax hardly encourages investment. As Winston Churchill said “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
Another barrier growth is leadership, so let’s raise our heads above the parapets, get out there, and invest our energies, time and risk in trying to build our businesses and upskill our teams for the changes that are coming. Whether we are seeking to develop our family business, or building towards an exit, this is the time like to understand our business’ current leadership model and consider how that may need flexing to meet our objectives. Have a read of my thoughts on leadership, I would love to hear your views.