All business sectors struggled to some degree throughout the pandemic, even if there were some instances of success. According to the Economics Observatory;
- Firms reported that from April 2020 to March 2021, their sales were 21% lower, and their investment was 26% lower (on average) than they would otherwise have been.
It’s stating the obvious to suggest that the extent to which each area was affected varied greatly – the online retail industry for the most part boomed, whilst the hospitality and tourism sector was hit harder than most.
But that was the business landscape then, and it may have well and truly changed for your sector now.
As we’re well into the post-COVID recovery era, it’s necessary for businesses to take a much-needed evaluation of the current business landscape and how their sector is operating within it. But just before you can delve into how your sector is performing, you must establish how your company is currently fairing.
Feel Good Factor – How is Your Business Feeling Now?
Having been supporting small businesses throughout post lockdown, our experts thought it would benefit SME owners to gain a full understanding of how their business is feeling after the last 18 months.
In response, we developed the Feel-Good Factor: a handful of quick questions to help you assess where you, your team, and your business currently find themselves.
After finishing, you’ll receive a free personalised feel-good score and analysis. This will explore how you and your staff are feeling. You’ll also get a variety of FREE complimentary resources to help you move forward towards a happier, feel-good future.
To receive your own personalised feel-good score and free resources, please click here
So, How Did Your Sector Fair Throughout COVID?
It’s certainly a mixed bag in terms of how each sector performed throughout COVID. Some SMEs found that their area of business performed incredibly well. However, in contrast, some found themselves trading within an underwhelming sector and needed more support in terms of recovery.
Sector Specifics in the UK
Each business sector performed differently throughout COVID due to how restricted each was kept during the lockdown.
- Construction has seen the biggest numerical decline, with 79,000 businesses closing, merging, or being taken over by another business.
- The Travel, Hospitality, and Personal Interaction Industries have been hit just as hard. This includes recreational services, such as gyms, and accommodation and food services (pubs, cafes, and restaurants), where sales were more than 50% lower than normal in the past year due to Covid-19.
- Real Estate on the other hand added 7,000 new businesses in 2020.
- And the number of Financial and Insurance businesses grew by 7%.
- The E-commerce retail sector boomed throughout COVID, with retail giants Amazon reporting huge sale increases.
- I. T and Cyber Security also became a hugely in-demand trade due to businesses having to work remotely. This industry is set to continue its growth due to evolving threats to online security. According to research collected by Gartner, Worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services is forecast to grow 12.4% to reach $150.4 billion in 2021.
However, there’s no need to stress if your sector didn’t perform too highly during COVID. As we approach the latter stages of 2021, business conditions have rapidly improved since the end of the Covid-19 restrictions, with 90% of firms currently trading as of late September. This is up from 71 percent at the start of the year, according to the BEIS.
Regardless of the issues that have faced their sectors, most SMEs have refused to let the COVID climate deter them. Some are even now looking to grow and further their trade. One of our clients, Absolute Quality Consultancy and Training are a perfect example of this.
Like many other businesses across the UK, Absolute Quality was not exempt from the unfortunate effects of COVID. The impacts of the nationwide lockdown meant that AQCT’s client base almost immediately disappeared overnight as businesses became extremely hesitant about their finances.
In response, AQCT needed to try and figure out ways that they could continue to deliver to and support clients throughout COVID and after. This resulted in them engaging with the services of one of our business consultants in the northeast region who implemented a recovery strategy plan. This move resulted in AQCT bouncing back stronger than ever, with the company reporting its most successful period: Revenue increased, turnover was up 31%, net income doubled, and net assets were up 64%.
As of October 2021, AQCT is now broadening their offering within their sector, finding that there’s currently huge opportunities in electrification across the northeast. The northeast is home to the Nissan plant, which has developed the LEAF model – an electric compact car. Finally, soon, AQCT is hoping to help support law supply chains to ensure that the local businesses have the standard processes to fulfil the needs of the supply chain.
If you would like to read the full article, please click here
The success of Absolute Quality post-COVID isn’t an isolated case – many SMEs are growing in confidence ever since the restrictions were halted earlier this year!
Something to Consider
Your Supply Chains
Panic buying and fuel shortages have hit the headlines over the last few months, as the storage and transport industry has reported a shortage of lorry drivers. So, what has this meant for businesses? According to the Office for National Statistics, 22% of trading businesses reported lack of haulers to transport goods as a challenge in early September 2021, compared with 11% in April 2021. Additionally, the findings highlight the rising costs of goods/services reported by 10% of businesses currently trading.
These issues only press the need for supply chain resilience and futureproofing your own business. Some important considerations include your current suppliers; are they reliable? According to Forbes, the supply issues associated with COVID have resulted in a pivot towards more regional or local networks rather than the traditional global ones.
For you to start growing and making a healthy profit again, you’re going to need a healthy source of stock that is readily available to you, which could mean having to invest in more local suppliers.
If your business is still suffering from the impacts of COVID, you may be eligible to claim under Business Interruption Insurance.
Business Doctors are currently partnered with the COVID Claims Commission, which will investigate and check to see whether your business is entitled to claim for losses under Business Interruption Insurance. COVID Claims can help business owners by easing the process of applying, as this can be quite a prolonged and complicated matter to handle.
Ultimately, this is a great place to start recouping your losses! According to The Financial Times, 370,000 businesses are entitled to claim the insurance. The COVID Claims make it easy and cost-effective for your business to make a claim. They do this by providing businesses with a No Win No Fee service.
For more information on claiming under Business Interruption Insurance, please visit our COVID Claims service page.
Your sector may have performed incredibly well, or you may have struggled under the restrictions of the lockdown era. However, you’re now operating within a new business landscape, where you can prosper and flourish again.
If you would like any further information on how you can support your business moving forwards or help in identifying how your sector is currently performing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.