A reflection of 2021, closing thoughts.
We sat down with one of our directors, David Cornell to reflect on the year gone by and look forward to the year ahead. David is a FCPA accountant with many years of experience, and is a fountain of wisdom when it comes to business and finances.
We hope you enjoy this interview, get some tips for prepping for 2022, and learn a thing or two about our very own David Cornell.
What have you learn't through lockdown?
Business wise, I think we’ve learn’t how to be more flexible within the business. When the lockdowns first started I was a bit nervous about how we would go working from home and not being together as a team; I was also concerned how our clients would go not being able to come in face to face. Surprisingly, it worked out better than I anticipated, with the team and clients all adapting better than I thought.
You get so used to working in an environment where it’s open and easy to communicate with everyone and I thought that may get messed up. We set up a whats-app group before we all went our separate ways so we could have informal chats, and then we had a weekly zoom meeting to touch base, and keep in touch with each other.
Has that changed how the office operates now?
It probably feels like there’s a bit more of a relaxed vibe in the office now, though time may tell, as it might just be that we haven’t been back long enough. I was more productive than I thought I would be when I was at home, as I thought I’d be quite distracted in that space. All the technology worked for us whilst we were working on our own, which was great. Greater flexibility is something that i would be far more open to in the future.
Did you pick up any new hobbies or interests through the lockdowns?
I actually went back to riding my bike. I bought one of those Wahoo trainers which involves you take the wheel off your road bike, connecting the trainer to a laptop via bluetooth, allowing you to ride real places in the world, but virtually. You just log on and ride anywhere. The other day, I road in Paris! Because it’s all connected to bluetooth, you get the sensation of riding hills as the trainer increases and decreases tension as the terrain changes. You can do the tour de france stages and everything.
It’s fun because you are going up and down the gears and the real terrain, plus you get to ride with loads of other people who have also logged on.
Want to be like David? Check out Wahoo here: Wahoo fitness
How has the business landscape changed?
I reckon things have and will continue to change. People having more flexible work arrangements will be a permanent change. I think for me, I had a negative outlook on it, but I have been converted to being a bit more flexible with work. People will need to become more accommodating.
The things I am worried about is the retail spaces, the actual bricks and mortar being affected, and similar for office spaces because not everyone will be going back and a lot of offices realise they don’t need as much space as the thought they did prior to Covid.
What is the most important thing for business and how can people plan for 2022?
It depends what space you’re in but it’s all about how you plan on coming out of this, as things start to fully re-open. For example if you’re in the hospitality industry, that had a lot of financial support during the pandemic, but weren’t performing as well as you would like beforehand, coming out of lockdown presents a good opportunity to re-think how you have been doing things and consider changes that might need to be made.
For other industries, for example service based, it’s probably looking at what you need in terms of people, re-assessing your business space and considering whether you do have all your staff coming back in, and how much space you still need. As always cash-flow planning is really important.
Some businesses made a lot of profit over the last couple years because of support packages and other reasons, so planning for how you can cash in and use those opportunities is really important. Planning and being active in these changes will make sure you get the most out of the new opportunities that may have arisen because of the last few years.