MD Newsletter February 2024

Our team of specialists are ready to help your business today

Whilst there has recently been talk of a recession, it seems that as we move further into 2024, an upturn is on the horizon.

Business confidence and optimism are strong, and many predict interest rates will be cut as we move into Q2/Q3 of 2024.

From my own experience running Howarths, we certainly feel very optimistic here at HQ. Whilst I like to keep track of market conditions, I’m careful not to let them impact my mindset. At the top of the tree, you must continue to believe.

Whilst there appears to be a bit more sunshine on the horizon, when times are tough, it gets you thinking about the right approach for your business – the temptation is to cut costs. No doubt a keen eye on outgoings is required, but it’s often short-term thinking to start slashing expenses.

From a people perspective, what I think we really need across the whole SME market, is increased productivity. A ‘Be The Business’ report last year showed the UK was 6th out of the G7 nations for productivity.

So, what exactly is productivity? Simply, a measure of how efficiently a person completes a task.

Clearly, what we want in business is for all of our team to complete tasks as efficiently as possible. This straddles many areas – clearly, technology plays a part, but a huge factor is engagement.

Here’s the formula – Engagement = productivity = business success.

The more engaged the team, i.e. the stronger the emotional connection to the business, the more productivity we achieve as a collective.

Boards must recognise and act upon this with a matter of urgency. Building a high performance, engaged workforce is not about slides, beanbags and fruit bowls. It takes strategy, know how and work. But the rewards are huge.

Those businesses that embrace that, are the ones that not only fly in the face of recessions and downturns, but will be ahead of the pack for years to come. After all, business is a team sport.

We’re ready when you are.

Have a great month – and let’s step into Spring with a renewed sense of purpose to match the longer days.

Gavin Howarth, Managing Director.


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