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Edition 405 – Fruit Mince Pies

Here we are, once again, at the back end of the year, in the season of the Fruit Mince Pie. My sister-in-law, Sue, makes the very best of them with delicious flaky pastry and her own fruit mince mix. My weight loss journey over the past 15 months will be severely tested by the delights of her cooking, this festive season.

If I was to look back over the year, and think through the work we’ve undertaken with our clients, the organisations that have invited us into their orbit, and the conversations that we’ve had with a wide variety of people, here’s my take on 2023:

  1. There’s been a definite flicking of the switch in terms of people’s business priorities, since the COVID lockdowns. I’m seeing a number of business owners experiencing a fundamental shift, away from money, and towards other goals.
  2. There’s a tension in the air in terms of just how much business owners are being squeezed, by both their clients and their employees. As the cost of living has increased, so has the tension meter.
  3. Forever, I’ve been saying that businesses that have a niche offer, are doing very well. That hasn’t changed and, in actual fact, I’d suggest it’s being more amplified as we move through interesting times.
  4. There are more people talking now about getting out of business in the next ten years, than there are talking about getting into business. That will impact the sale price of businesses in the next few years.
  5. Too many business owners and their key management team are operating reactively, allowing their clients to dictate terms. We’re reaching a crescendo where some of these people will either say “enough” for the benefits of their own health and the financial wellbeing of the business, or will merely sack the client.
  6. Sadly, there remains very little long term vision and planning amongst the great majority of small and family business owners. That’s not setting the business up for future growth, or future risk.
  7. The early adult children of business owners don’t necessarily see the attraction of going into business. They’ve watched their parents slog away at it for, at times, meagre returns. That creates issues not only around succession, but as to the conversation that is taking place inside of families about “what’s it all for?”
  8. Those that have headed overseas are seeing opportunities they can bring back into the domestic market. Those that are staying inside their cave, appear to be limiting their opportunities, and seeing the future through a negative lens.
  9. Health is so valuable to us all, yet so few of us give it much thought, until something goes awry. The older we get, the more the “awry” situations become permanent in our lives.

From my family to yours, no matter whether you celebrate the season or you don’t, our very best for a Christmas that is joyous, relaxing and, more than anything, spent with families and friends.

This Week’s Tip

“It’s a great time of year when, for most of us, we can truly switch off.
Take the time to do that, empty the mind and regenerate yourself for the run into 2024.”