As I sit down to write this, I am aware that Rishi Sunak will be delivering his Spring Statement later today. Everyone, or at least someone, will be listening to his every word to see if he will alleviate a current pain. Maybe he will and maybe he won’t. No doubt I will be listening to him as well.
But no matter what he says or does not say, we all just have to get on with what we do and ride out each of the many storms that seem to beset businesses at the moment. We are a business just like all the rest and we see the effects of the shortages in the labour market and the increasing costs, which we will no doubt partly absorb and partly pass on. Sorry!
The various headwinds that we all feel will affect us differently. But at the end of the day, we all just have to keep going. Some people will really prosper, others will get by, and some will fall by the wayside. That is the nature of business life. For some, turmoil in the market is good. It has never been bad for us. But it requires an agile mindset willing to adapt to the changing conditions. It also requires mental strength to keep battling on through the storms. If you have been in business for a while, you will already be reconciled to the fact that short of just giving up, you have no alternative. I don’t think there are many business owners who would willingly choose to go back to working for somebody else.
Do you use social media to promote your business? We do and we also see what other people are currently posting. There is no shortage of advice, frequently high-level stuff about work life balance, working the way you want etc.
We do post on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We also send out emails and all the content is also on our website. It is mostly stuff that we hope will be of some practical use whether that be to do with tax or business generally. Some of it, like the content you are just reading, is less factual. Nonetheless, I hope that someone somewhere finds it interesting.
We put all this together and we put it out there for whoever wants to read it. But that is not business as such. The business is the daily grind. We must prepare accounts, fill out various returns to be submitted to Companies House, HMRC, OSCR and the rest. It is the daily battles with HMRC to minimise the impact of their enquiries into your affairs. It is getting people out of the tax mess that they have got themselves into. It is all that and more.
And because we are a business, there are the staff issues, training to be done, computers to update, software to be installed, leases to negotiate, utility contracts to arrange, insurance renewals and all the rest. So, we feel your pain.
One of the things that becomes more apparent to me as we go forward is that this daily grind actually brings a great deal of satisfaction. There’s the fact that as a business, you have survived, and possibly thrived for another day, another month, or another year. But then there is also the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in someone else’s journey and made a positive contribution to their own lives. Isn’t that worth getting up for in the morning?
As many of you will know, because I keep telling you, I am married to my business partner. That means you never really get away from the business because we often find ourselves talking shop at home. But the business is such an intrinsic part of our lives and has been for so long that I think that is quite healthy. It keeps us both sane. If there is something on your mind, you get to share it with someone who knows and understands. It builds strength and resilience.
So where do we go from here? After lifting our heads up for a short while to prepare this, we return to the daily grind. Who can we help today?
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Alan E Long
The Long Partnership