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2009 is Here - Don't Panic!

A very happy New Year to EPA readers from all of the team. By now I hope you will have re-acclimatised back to the work routine and weaned yourselves off the diet of Quality Street and cocktail sausages. But it’s hard to shake off the post-holiday blues when the TV screens, newspapers and websites are heralding such a tumultuous 2009...

But for a moment we should at least consider some of the positive things 2009 has to offer the electrical industry. We are not immune to the recession, but there are many contracting companies still managing to avoid the impact of the downturn off the back of existing orders, and large-scale construction projects such as the Olympics will continue to drive business. Companies operating within the public sector should also feel the heat a little less and for manufacturers, energy efficient products will hopefully keep their upward trend.

Remaining positive and focusing on strengths will be a key strategy to easing the burden over the coming 12 months. Whether you’re an electrician, engineer, manufacturer, run your own business or work for a multinational there can never be a better time to put your hand up and suggest ways to increase productivity that will not only help now, but also carry through when the climate improves.

Though the task of remaining positive is easier said than done! While driving home earlier this week, I had to scrabble through 3 radio stations in the time it took to travel down Tonbridge High Street (about ½ a mile) in an attempt to avoid listening to yet another economist grimly assessing a story of receivership, redundancy or general economic meltdown. That journey happened to be the first time I listened to Radio 3 on purpose.

However, before I settled into a recital by an unpronounceable Polish accordionist, one commentator did broach a subject that, although obvious, doesn’t often get heard above the cacophony of economic panic (or accordions). Namely that during times of crisis, many companies resort to drastic measures too quickly, and as a result often end up in a worse position than if they had held tight. I’m sure that very few MDs take the decision of laying people off lightly, but it’s easy to imagine how some are panicked into thinking it’s the only solution.

Here’s hoping that the vast majority of companies in the electrical market have a prosperous, or at least relatively painless 2009. There is much to look forward to and with the right approach, many traders will emerge stronger in 2010.

Enjoy the newsletter,

Richard Scott

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