UK: Can the new PM Liz Truss Save Businesses? Digital Transformation Can

    As firms battle with reduced revenue, Freddie Digby, CCO of Adsum, stresses that halting your investment in tech should be the last thing a business should be considering ahead of a recession

    The identity of the nation’s next Prime Minister was just one of many uncertainties facing the UK economy, as a ‘cost of doing business’ crisis cripples organisations up and down the country.  We now know it is Liz Truss.

    A leadership race is always a nervous moment, as two or more officials decide the nation’s fate and its enterprises. This one is even trickier because of the solutions (or lack of) each leader could bring to the many issues facing the UK: inflation, recession, supply chain troubles, and an energy crisis.  

    Digital transformation can be a lifeline for businesses as the current situation worsens. To reap the benefits, decision-makers must keep an open mind, entertaining any possibilities that could keep balance sheets in the black. With small businesses reportedly saving up to £4,000 a month by implementing hybrid working into their business models, cutting back on tech investment may strangle many companies. Yet, investing in considered technology has long been a wise move for firms. Strengthening the security and tightening customer experiences all adds to a business’s competitive edge. During the pandemic, companies were forced to adapt, and it is time they turn to tech once again if they survive this nightmarish situation. 

    Keep cashflow constant 

    The looming recession casts an ominous shadow over the prosperity of many UK organisations. History does not bode well for those hoping to emerge untouched, with the 2008 monetary crisis resulting in the closure of over 800,000 companies in this country alone. 

    With falling consumer confidence, and some smaller businesses reducing investment, organisations need to bolster and secure cash flow to ensure a stable future. Companies should look to alt-fi and Fintechs for support here, with innovative players in this space offering solutions to liquidity concerns.  

    Fintechs have developed technology that can calculate the money owed to a business by HMRC (such as tax credits or VAT refunds), and they will then provide timely access to these funds, which would otherwise take months to arrive. Receiving this money earlier than expected and clearly understanding how much the business is entitled to can be life or death when times get tough, allowing firms to factor this cash into financial forecasts and helping them plan for any obstacles ahead. 

    Another helpful solution is automated invoicing, which collects invoices on behalf of a business, guaranteeing that they will receive every penny they are entitled to without any unexpected hiccups.  

    Don’t be defeated by soaring energy bills 

    A recent study by the University of York yielded bleak results, predicting that two-thirds of all UK households will be trapped in fuel poverty by January. And businesses are facing the same grim battle, with office closures a genuine possibility to offset unmanageable cost increases. 

    However, businesses must not accept defeat and should instead look for innovative ways to minimise utility bill increases that will help them weather the turbulence of the coming months. 

    Leveraging tech to ensure smart energy management should be an immediate priority, and solutions should be implemented before prices spiral out of control. Investing when the rest of the economy is pinching pennies may seem counterintuitive. Still, the reality is that bills will be so high that this isn’t just a long-term strategy– implementing the necessary changes will produce instant and noticeable results. 

    For example, organisations should look to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to optimise energy usage. Innovative tech can immediately identify where energy usage could be more efficient, helping businesses target vital areas to address that will lower consumption.  

    The Internet of Things (IoT) will also play a crucial role in managing energy usage, with research predicting that by 2030, IoT operations will have eliminated one gigaton of CO2 emissions. 

    Many businesses already benefit from IoT devices such as smart thermostats and lighting systems to monitor real-time consumption. Still, organisations should be more progressive with this technology to maximise its benefits. 

    Significant buildings can use IoT sensors and smart software to monitor temperature and movement throughout the site, with businesses more effectively scheduling staff off the back of this new real-time information. Utilising technology like this and intelligently applying the data it provides holds the key to shaving zeros from monthly bills.  

    Demand more from your supply 

    Issues including labour shortages, Brexit trade barriers, geopolitical tensions, and climate change have contributed to various supply chain issues across multiple industries. 

    To limit the risk of stock shortages, businesses should consider strategies such as supply chain diversification, maintaining stock levels as demand increases, and avoiding overselling and over-promising. 

    A business that puts all its eggs in one supply chain basket will face major headaches if that supplier falls through, so making sure backup options are available is essential. 

    There is light at the end of the tunnel 

    Despite a new Prime Minister, the UK will continue to face the same problems, as the vast array of present issues shows no signs of relenting. However, apathy will spell danger. Proactivity and adaptability are vital for finding solutions to ease cost pressures. 

     Eventually, the businesses that make these changes will emerge from the current crisis in a more efficient and productive state. Weathering the storm could result in a brighter future, so businesses should act now to protect themselves moving forward. 

    Freddie Digby is co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO_ of Adsum. Established in March 2020 in Hammersmith, London, Adsum is a Fintech tax credit specialist providing a straightforward advance funding solution for all UK business tax receivables, including film, TV, video game development, and R&D tax credits as well as VAT refunds. Adsum solves cashflow headaches by calculating the value of businesses’ tax receivables in real-time and advancing the cash when needed, up to a year ahead of when HMRC will pay out. As tax credit experts and an HMRC accredited tax agent, Adsum’s technology computes the value of companies’ tax credits and completes all compliance. This saves time, professional fees, and futureproofs cash flow.

    UK: Can the new PM Liz Truss Save Businesses? Digital Transformation Can
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