Opinion

Don't let your business go the way of David Moyes

3 min read

22 April 2014

Whether they’re football fans or not, the sacking of David Moyes as manager of Manchester United should make entrepreneurs think long and hard about the future of their businesses, says Charlie Mullins.

Now the economy is on the rise, businesses are expecting greater success and those who can’t deliver the results will go the way of the Manchester United boss.

This means that all the business managers who helped their companies stay afloat during the recession will now be expected to double, if not their efforts, certainly their results. 

They don’t want to be David Moyes and find themselves out on their ear, so will either respond positively or pass the blame on. Some of the players in their blame game will undoubtedly be their suppliers – many of which will be entrepreneurially-led SMEs.

Therefore SMEs also have to respond to the UK’s changing economic landscape to make sure they don’t become victims of either their own complacency – or their clients’.

Just like the business manager, during the recession, I’m sure a decent number of entrepreneurial businesses were more than happy to just keep their heads above water. Of course, while a lot of firms worked exceptionally hard to maintain the status quo rather than go to the wall, for many, survival equalled success.

But that’s all changing and businesses can no longer afford to stand still. When the good times return the number of businesses increase, which puts more pressure on established firms to maintain their market position.

Last year, according to research by the Business Growth Fund, 90,000 new businesses were created in a six month period and I’d expect that figure to rise hugely in 2014. Add to that the additional 146,000 new self-employed workers, who registered in the three months to February 2014, bringing the total to 4.5m, its clear to see that competition is really hotting up!

The need for fresh-thinking and innovation from businesses is essential if they are to remain competitive in the newly resurgent economy.

Therefore, small businesses need to lift their heads from the daily grind and have a look at what’s happening in their sector and find new ways to set themselves apart in the marketplace. 

Whether it’s new products, services or fresh creative thinking, being able to say to clients that you not only understand their business, but can take it forward in the new economy can really makes a business stand out.

Unlike David Moyes who failed to improve the poor Manchester United team he inherited, business managers will take their team, which includes suppliers, and chop and change the line-up to make things work.

And if SMEs operating in the supply chains of British commerce don’t make themselves indispensable, they’ll end up like poor old Mr Moyes looking for somewhere else to ply their trade while some young upstart is profiting at their misfortune.

Charlie Mullins is CEO and founder of Pimlico Plumbers

Image credit: Rnoid / Shutterstock.com