Data from the UK service sector shows modest growth during the month of September, although not the kind of growth that economists and business owners were hoping to see as we close the door on 2017. From my perspective as a business development coach, it seems the service sector is ripe for small business coaching right now.
Modest growth in the service sector is certainly positive, there is no question of that. However, the same data also shows that overall growth in September was the slowest it has been since August 2016. Economists blame a cloudy Brexit picture that business owners expected would be a lot clearer more than a year after the referendum vote.
Data suggests that service sector businesses are not doing as well with B2B sales due to Brexit uncertainty. If that is true, the expansion in the service sector would largely be the result of better B2C sales. So the question among service sector companies is how to make the best of their sales channels to move forward in this time of uncertainty. This is where small business coaching becomes so vital.
Thriving in Any Environment
The most successful small businesses are those businesses capable of thriving in any environment. Small businesses that learn to adapt and thrive are much more likely to go on to become much larger businesses, perhaps even corporations. Yet it all starts with understanding the current environment and making the most of it.
The Guardian reported in early October that, in addition to Brexit uncertainty, higher prices for services is a secondary factor in slowing the pace of service sector expansion. With the average costs of goods and services consistently rising since the spring, customers are paying more for services now than they did in 2016.
Higher prices always dampen sales, so small businesses have to adapt accordingly. There are lots of ways to do this including increasing value for price, seeking out and establishing new sales channels, and solidifying existing business relationships to ensure that customers do not go elsewhere.
As a business development coach, I can tell you that it is possible to thrive even under the circumstances we now face. The key is to find a way to make the most of the resources and opportunities available right now.
It may be that the service sector is not growing at the rate economists and business owners were hoping for. But it is still growing. Sometimes business growth is small and slow; other times it happens in lightning fast leaps and bounds. The secret is not to obsess over these natural highs and lows. Rather, small businesses should be focusing on steady consistency day after day, quarter after quarter, and year after year.
The UK service sector appears ripe for small business coaching. If you are a small business owner struggling to find your way, I can help you figure out the current environment and how your company can make the best of it.
By Peter Smith.
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