5 National Concerns that Affect the Business World in 2018
There has been no avoiding talk of Brexit over the last couple of years, and the chatter is not going to end any time soon. The triggering of Article 50 and Britain's departure from the EU is not just a political issue, but rather a matter of social and economic concern – mainly because the value of the pound has plummeted since 2016's referendum, while inflation continues to soar. The upshot of this that consumers enjoy less spending power and businesses are feeling the pinch as a result.
The Digital Revolution
This is a digital world, and we're just living in it. While the unending march of technology ensures that borders are shrinking and anybody can enter the realm of commerce, many businesses are struggling to find staff that have the relevant digital skillset to meet the demands of the 21st Century – and even if they do so, employing qualified staff members is considerably easier than retaining them without regular salary increases and other benefits. Throw in the necessity for digital training, which many remain reluctant to invest in, and you have a recipe for concern for many business owners.
Britain may be leaving the EU, but as we have covered above, the onset of the Internet means that anybody can now trade with anybody else throughout the world. This means a great deal of choice for consumers, but also a never-ending stream of competitors for business owners. There is no longer any such thing as a niche market, as there will always be somebody else, somewhere in the world, offering a similar product at a potentially lower price – leading to an eternal struggle to keep pricing competitive while also remaining profitable.
The dawn of auto-enrolment pensions has become a source of anxiety. The minimum legal contribution of employers is increasing year on year, and by 2019 all business owners will need to pay at least 3% of their employee's salary into a pension pot. On top of these financial concerns, this is another administrative procedure that business owners will need to involve themselves in; not only will a business owner have to ensure that they have set up a pension fund correctly, they will need to remain abreast of any legal changes lest they face the threat of a penalty fine.
Fear and Uncertainty
Ultimately, uncertainty is the biggest stumbling block in the path of UK business owners. We are being fed a constant stream of contrasting information about what the future may hold by a media led by differing agendas, with some economic experts predicting the UK will enter recession by the year 2020 but others disputing this and pointing to a slow and steady improvement in the national economy. Until a solitary, authoritative voice can reassure the public that all will be well, nervous consumers will continue to avoid spending money wherever possible.
They say that a problem shared is a problem halved, so hopefully, some of the best and brightest minds in the nation will be able to get their heads together and resolve some of these concerns for the sake of the UK’s business owners. Until such a time all we can be continue as best we can, and support local endeavours wherever possible.