If only taxes were the only barrier to growth

Posted on 14th December 2022 by Streets What's trending?

Image to represent If only taxes were the only barrier to growth

By James Pinchbeck, Marketing Partner

According to the infamous mini-Budget on Friday 23rd September, lowering taxes is the catalyst to unleashing the country’s economic potential. Unfortunately or not, the full U-turn of the measures announced will mean we will not be able to put this assumption to the test.

Having a tax regime that incentivises or motivates entrepreneurs and business leaders to start and grow enterprises, needless to say is key, however it is perhaps only one element of what empowers, drives or facilitates growth. 

Against the back drop of a pandemic, most businesses will have probably been more in survival mode as opposed to growth. Whilst innate resilience, along with financial support from the government, has no doubt helped organisations weather the storm, many in business are still recovering. Growth therefore may not yet be back on the agenda, or part of a short term or even longer-term strategy. Few business owners therefore are likely to have a growth mindset.

For those striving for growth there appears to be a number of key barriers, not just the current tax regime. Certainly, one of the biggest barriers not just for growth but for maintaining business, is the lack of available labour and skills to fulfill key vacancies. New approaches to recruitment and ways of working have in part helped to ease the situation, however, much more needs to be done as part of a longer-term approach.

For those fortunate to be operating in a growing market, increasing revenue is somewhat easier than for those operating in a mature sector. For the latter, growth is more dependent on looking at innovation in terms of service and product and gaining a competitive advantage to take market share.  For some growth may come about through increasing their geographical coverage.

When it comes to growing a business, it invariably requires investment, whether it’s in new products, business processes and systems, people or sales and marketing. Access to either own funds and external finance make such investment therefore key. Having the wherewithal is one thing, having the confidence to make such an investment is another. In uncertain times, and with the rising cost of finance, many will perhaps defer such a commitment.

Business growth fundamentally requires business leaders to have confidence in the market in which they operate and economic certainty, along with their organisation’s capabilities, competence and capacity to deliver growth.

Whilst growth may be close to the heart of many an entrepreneur or business owner, unless the conditions are right for it perhaps greater focus in the current climate should be around consolidation and improving profitability. A drive for growth can often be at the cost of increasing the value of what you already have. Perhaps a more balanced approach is what should be strived for.

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