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A long road to recovery for owner managed businesses?

A long road to recovery for owner managed businesses?

Maureen Penfold

Every quarter, we ask business leaders across the UK to share their aspirations for the next six months and track business confidence.  Our latest Owner Managed Business (OMB) survey (carried out in November 2021) looks at these consistent measures and new issues affecting UK businesses today. 

Our latest Owner Managed Business (OMB) survey is a tale of contrasts. Many businesses are still struggling with the effects of the pandemic while others are thriving. Only 1 in 5 businesses is confident about the general outlook for the next year and meeting their revenue targets for this year, but positively, eight out of 10 anticipate revenue growth on last year.

With the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention scheme having now ended, 1 in 3 businesses say redundancies are likely. But a crisis for some brings opportunities for others with 42% of businesses planning to increase their headcount over the next three months (up from just 28% in February 2021). This dichotomy means that we’re likely to see a major reshaping of the workforce in 2022.

As we enter the 'new normal', new challenges are arising. For those increasing their headcount, recruitment is a real challenge – businesses are having to adapt their approach to recruitment and retention in order to win the war for talent.

Supply chain issues are a headache for many businesses, and these, coupled with increasing energy and fuel prices means that price increases to end users are extremely likely for half of businesses. And with COP26 having taken place recently, reducing carbon emissions is at the forefront of many business leaders’ minds, with more than 20% citing this as a priority for the next six months.

Clearly, economic recovery is fragile, and there are significant challenges ahead for owner managed businesses. The road to recovery after the height of the pandemic is likely to be a difficult one for many.

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