Revealed: Top business trends for 2018

From Brexit to cyber security

Here are some key themes that PwC believes will be crucial to private businesses’ continued success​ in 2018

Suzi Woolfson, UK private business leader at PwC, comments:

Corporate governance

“Private businesses are playing an increasingly influential role in the UK economy. Unsurprisingly then, the FRC has launched consultation on a comprehensive shake-up of the UK Corporate Governance Code that will include greater regulation for large unlisted companies - a clear recognition of their importance. Private businesses will need to start preparing now to ensure they meet the proposed standards, as they will be held accountable if they don’t comply. Reviewing existing reporting and transparency against the FRC proposals is a good place to start and, as the consultation continues until February 2018, be prepared to respond to it.”

Cloud technology
“While cloud computing might sound like old news to some, a number of private businesses are still using legacy IT systems. Cloud computing eliminates the capital cost of hardware and software, setting up and running on-site data centres. It gives businesses access to the latest software, simplifies data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity as well as providing invaluable data analytics tools. The cloud is ideal for smaller private businesses looking to grow, providing scalability without complexity. It also enables more effective remote working and collaboration between teams.”  

Cyber security
“Recent PwC research revealed only 12% of small businesses in the UK have cyber security insurance. This is a worryingly small percentage in a time where cyber-attacks seem increasingly inevitable. Many organisations don’t realise how vulnerable they are to cyber threats and remain in the mindset of thinking it won’t happen to them, but taking the risk seriously and having a crisis plan in place is critical to minimising possible damage.”

Brexit negotiations
“Private businesses will need to stay tuned in the progress of Brexit negotiations in 2018 so they can continue to react and adapt to the outcomes, particularly with regards to trade deals and passporting rights. If they haven’t already, private businesses should be looking to conduct impact assessments and create Brexit plans to help them protect their existing interests and make the most of new opportunities.”

Digital disruption
“Any business no matter it’s size or industry can be disrupted. Being alert to where competition may come from and preparing a response is essential to staying on the front foot. Strategic planning is a great way to combat uncertainty as it creates clarity, giving the business a purpose and goals to focus on.”

Cash is king
“While every year brings new challenges and opportunities, businesses need to remember their bottom line. Cash is king and companies can’t afford to forget cash flow in the race for profits and revenues and in pursuit of new ventures. It’s good to branch out, but it’s also important to focus on maintaining existing strengths and ultimately staying in business.”

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