Time for business leaders to look back to the future

For too long we have been fighting little battles to keep our heads above water. From the moment those crooks in suits from the City gambled away our economy and their house of cards came crashing down around them we’ve had to try and move our businesses forward while having to walk into an economic gale force wind.

I know I said I wasn’t going to look backwards, but I’ll take any opportunity to remind people of the horrendous job the financial sector made of our economy. I know it’s Christmas, but the Season of Goodwill does not extend to those pin-striped villains.

Anyway, back to the future. If the economy is truly going to grow and the famous “green shoots of recovery” are actually real, then we have to change our mentality if the buds are going to blossom.

The signs are, of course, quite good. The unemployment figures are becoming increasingly positive and there were some interesting nuggets in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement that will help SMEs.

The biggest challenge might just be our own mentality. We’ve all been in survival mode since 2009 and although we can be proud most of us have made it through the last three years – although somewhat bruised and battered – we’ve not taken our noses off the grindstone to look at where we want to take our business in the future.

Now is the time to be making plans rather than the hand to mouth existence we have been forced to live by the actions of others. 

Instead of just getting involved in little skirmishes to record little victories, we have to start thinking about winning the war.

Even thinking about 12 months into the future has been a luxury not afforded to many of us in recent years. 

So, when you raise your glass with friends and family on New Year’s Eve, don’t just welcome 2013, welcome a new era of positive thinking and planning that will take your business forward for many years to come.

Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to all Real Business readers!

Charlie Mullins is founder and CEO of Pimlico Plumbers.

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