The past two years have been a struggle for a huge number of businesses in the UK, with 61% experiencing financial difficulties and a further 81% of self-employed business owners reporting that government assistance through lockdown proved insufficient. Though the challenges of the pandemic have been a huge issue for many, what it has allowed is for businesses to think outside the box and become incredibly creative in finding ways to continue providing services and earning money despite the circumstances.
Which sectors have been impacted?
The majority of sectors have been affected of the events of the last two years, none more so than jobs that require physical contact. Thankfully, most businesses are now once again operating at something close to normality but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to ensure that you have a plan in place should similarly unforeseen situations occur in the future.
How has woodworking performed in recent years?
As a woodworker, you may have seen a dip in customers but the industry itself has become more popular as more people discover the practice as a hobby. But an increase in popularity does mean that those in the sector will need to keep a close eye on the availability – and, consequently, the pricing – of raw materials.
What future-proofing measures can be taken?
There are several options available to business owners in this sector. One is to consider entering into a futures contract with a supplier by analysing the information provided by a UK futures broker. With the increase in demand, prices for materials will fluctuate throughout the year but a futures contract allows you to ensure that the price of timber, for example, will stay consistent throughout the length of your agreement. This offers great long-term advantages over simply purchasing materials whenever they become necessary as it allows you to forecast your finances much more accurately.
Another way is to investigate different ways to reach and engage with past and new customers who may be interested in your work. The unprecedented challenges of lockdown encouraged a lot of businesses to think outside the box and look for new and unique ways to appeal to their audience; that sort of creative thinking should be prioritised so that you can reach customers whatever the circumstances.
The tumultuous nature of the last two years have clearly illustrated the importance of future-proofing your business so that it can have plans in place even for the most unusual of situations. There will always be external factors that nobody will be able to predict but giving yourself the most flexibility and stability possible can reduce the impact of unexpected scenarios.
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