Times of austerity call for switch in business focus

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Businesses should change their focus during times of austerity, it has been claimed.

Investing in secure online backup and other data protection services might be a wise move to help safeguard against potentially crippling lawsuits and fines if the information is accessed by the wrong people.

This could be particularly prudent during times of austerity when many businesses have to make some tough choices on where to spend their budget and where to get by without any great deal of expenditure.

Serious Brands recently encouraged firms to follow the lead of the older generation, who turn to habits of make do and mend during tough times, allowing them to keep their cash for the essentials.

Founder Alex Pratt drew a comparison between enterprises cutting back on frivolous spending and old ladies knitting, explaining that everyone has to tighten their belts during periods of financial uncertainty.

He advised bosses to cut down on what he calls "vanity projects" as their efforts and budgets would be best reserved for things that require more immediate attention and will provide a more certain return.

For some firms this could mean investing in offsite backup storage or disaster recovery services to help ensure they are resilient and can survive potential problems.

"There is a little metaphor I use – in my village there is a little pond at the top of the hill, and normally it looks wonderful, idyllic, [with] ducks, a bench and lilies. But, two years ago when we had a bit of a drought, the water line dropped and all you could see is the rusty bike and a shopping trolley sticking out the middle of the pond," Mr Pratt explained.

"That’s what has happened to businesses – those things were always there, but as levels have dropped, the business community has really, as a necessity, had to focus on pulling out the rusty bikes and shopping trolleys and become much more efficient."

He concluded by urging firms not to fear risk, as this can be counterproductive: "There is so much uncertainty now around that you have got to take a confident approach to risk, just carry on and even though you can introduce the thought of a cataclysmic destruction of the entire capitalist system, you can’t worry about that."

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