Growing businesses is a passion of mine. Lately, I worry many businesses have been distracted and stopped focussing on long term strategy. The distraction was down to the sheer panic that spread like wildfire from one business to the next caused by the GDPR frenzy. Here’s why.
UK Businesses were keen to avoid GDPR fines. Instantly, businesses started blocking sites, shutting down activity, and flooding inboxes with mixed messages ‘please stay’, ‘don’t go’ or ‘don’t let this be last time you hear from us’.
The last minute reaction demonstrates businesses were bamboozled by the EU directive. For me the panic was symptomatic of businesses not spending time planning, forecasting and reviewing their business strategy regularly.
It’s no longer enough to write your 5 year plan, ignore it and let it gather dust.
Today we work in a fast paced business world, with shifting economic, legislative and political factors. The successful businesses are the ones reviewing and modifying plans every 6 months. Ongoing reviews ensure you are staying on track to meet the 5 year business plan.
How has GDPR affected the Business World?
GDPR discussions have been on the table for years but still took everyone by surprise.
We’re living in an age when digital is supposedly opening up the world of business. Instead it’s having the converse affect. The ramifications of a blanket application of GDPR is spreading worldwide. Many international companies decided it’s easier to withdraw services in EU and block site users from EU territories.
Local and international businesses are reflecting on what they have done. Tinged with regret business leaders believe they may have overreacted. Also starting to feel the pinch now the lucrative revenue streams from Europe are closed off to them.
The GDPR debate rumbles on discussing the pros and cons of tighter data laws.
Only time will tell if GDPR will have a detrimental impact on business or if organisations will become smarter using data.
No doubt after a bedding in period, clarification of GDPR rules and some hefty financial penalties most companies will reboot EU servers and reconnect. In the meantime cash flow which is essential to sustain a business is now lost. To recover businesses need to revisit what makes their unique business tick and consider new ways of expanding. Also revisit tried and tested methods too.
How to boost sales in post GDPR world?
Businesses place value on the size of their database and use it as a measure of growth success. Many feared the new legislation would reduce databases, nurtured for years and slashed overnight. And for many this is a reality.
One thing I remind all my clients is your database is just one factor to help grow a business.
It’s the unique combination of products, services, people, processes and pricing that work hand in hand to move your business forward. That’s where a business expert can help pull together the key components and create a robust business strategy.
With a solid business strategy you will effectively manage risk, boost business growth and prepare for change.
It would be great to hear how your business is doing. Better, worse, no change?
Simon Murrison, Chartered Accountant
If you would like to chat about your business or your personal finances. Call today on 0141 290 0262