Stay agile to stay ahead, says Rift

Money Posted 13/09/21
Expert advice from RIFT Accounting's Annette Bunn

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister published a policy paper outlining his thoughts about “building back better” and the government’s plans for growth.

Getting back to the office or place of work has been good for many people who are enjoying the “new normal”. From our experience here at RIFT Accounting Ltd, working in new ways, ensuring we are Covid-safe and giving clients the choice of having meetings online as an alternative to office meetings is working well and clients are enjoying the agile approach we have adopted.

“Business agility” has in the past been a buzz word used for motivational events in business, but now business owners know that we need to be agile to make the most of the new world we live in.

According to Wikipedia, business agility refers to “rapid, continuous, systematic evolutionary adaptation and entrepreneurial innovation to gain and maintain competitive advantage”. What a mouthful! But in everyday terms it is what has been adopted by so many businesses to survive and re-invent themselves in the last year or so, to survive.

One of the sectors that has proven its agility has been hospitality and the businesses associated with it. As each “unlocking” stage happens, larger events are beginning to be planned, as well as going back to our favourite restaurants and bars. But how are these businesses coping and how will they have to continue to prove their agility to “build back better”?

Some restaurants for instance have really proved they are agile by building new revenue streams such as takeaways and drivers employed to bring that restaurant experience to us to enjoy at home. Maybe the question now is, as the country opens up again, do they continue with this new service as well as reopening their doors?

Will the wedding planners be able to keep up with demand? Some venues are warning that they have almost back-to-back weddings and events but are struggling to find staff to work all the additional shifts to fulfil the bookings that are very much needed to help these businesses get back on their feet properly.

Some are reporting that, with a lack of overseas workforce being available to assist through the summer months, they may need to choose which services they can offer. The way they approach the next stage of their business journey will prove how they adapt.

Another sector that has proved its agility is IT, with a demand for laptops and different communications methods, both internally and externally, many companies have also changed their telephony over to soft phones and have got rid of traditional handsets, making the workforce more agile and the office Covid-safe.

Skills and training will remain a focus for many industries, with key sectors reporting they are struggling to find staff after so many have found alternative roles since the pandemic began. As these industries re-open, a new problem is emerging, but again it will be a way of finding a business solution to the problem.

Maybe that is offering apprentices, or finding new ways to do what they have been doing for years. It is that “lightbulb moment” for a new way to work that saves the day.

From our perspective as accountants, we remain impressed by how companies have proved their agility and we remain on hand to assist any who need our help. We will continue to help them achieve the agility required, to do the part we all need to do to ensure we “build back even better” than we were before.

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