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Enabling change for privately owned businesses

Seemingly well-established businesses can, with a sudden change of events, be subject to to factors that can threaten their very existence. Yet such changes can provide agile and responsive businesses with considerable opportunity.

Privately owned companies, entrepreneurial and family businesses are the powerhouse of the UK economy and face unique challenges in adapting to the sheer volume of change coming their way. The real skill is balancing the competing demands on their time and energy, while enabling the business leadership to allow these changes to add value to the business, not simply viewing them as hurdles to overcome.


As politicians debate and ponder, businesses need plans in place for a myriad of potential outcomes.

We see labour supply and movement of goods as being key concerns. Those businesses that recruit skilled people from Europe or export goods into Europe should have contingency plans in place for a change in circumstance, to ensure they are best placed to thrive post Brexit.


The behaviours and culture of an organisation are becoming more open to the public. Opaque pricing structures are more susceptible to challenge. The Gender Pay Gap has identified inequalities that need to be explained and addressed. Information and data flow is now more widely available. Businesses need to be seen to be responsive to the societal changes that are happening.


Artificial intelligence and developments in technology will render many processes and functions obsolete within a very short time frame. Clients/customers want to engage with businesses in different ways. Those companies that invest in technological advancement, and indeed disrupt their industries, will have a huge competitive advantage over those that are unable or not prepared to do so. Cybersecurity threats, particularly with a seemingly unstable world order, can provide external threats to a business.


HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) through its CONNECT computer system, and with the implementation of Making Tax Digital (MTD), will have more scrutiny over taxpayers than ever before. The robustness of a company’s taxation profile becomes ever more important. The implementation of the Taylor Report, in respect of the employment status of their people, could affect the business models of many businesses.


With growing transparency, the aspirations of employees are rightly increasing. Effective reward structures are of course important, but work life balance considerations and the desire for self-improvement are necessitating that businesses adopt a far more tailored approach to people development.

If you wish to find out more, please visit or contact Andrew Sanford.

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