Photo of chess board to represent managing in uncertain times

Managing in uncertain times


Due to Brexit, 2019 looks set to be a year filled with uncertainty for businesses.

The future is always unknown but this year business leaders may need to navigate some particularly choppy waters due to market uncertainty and global political turmoil.

Focus on what you can control

As a business leader you can always control your response, attitude, behaviour, actions and words. You can choose to be proactive and inquisitive rather than become paralysed. In times of uncertainty, the best business leaders step up and embrace their authority. When times are uncertain, your team wants you to lead the way. Bring your team with you on the journey, ask them for their opinion, include them in your planning conversations and challenge them to come up with new solutions.

Cash is king

In uncertain times, the old adage that “cash is king” carries even more weight. Cash is the lifeblood of your business and poor cash flow management kills businesses during tough economic times. Market volatility also creates opportunities. If you have cash or credit available to take advantage of these opportunities when they present themselves, you may be able to move quickly and move your business forward. As such, good cash flow management can allow you to cash in.

Embrace change and adapt

As your particular market changes, there will be opportunities for you to adapt. For example, if your customers have less budget to spend on buying products and services in your sector, it might be an opportunity for you to introduce a lower priced “value offering.” You may need to change the way you market your products and services. Making sure your management information is right up to date will help take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves and adapt quickly to the changing environment.


If you depend on one big customer to keep your business going, you should consider how to diversify your customer base. Sometimes even giant businesses fail during tough times. If your biggest customer goes out of business, you don’t want to be part of the collateral damage. Just like in investing where the key to success is to have a diversified portfolio, diversifying your customer base could improve your business success and make your business more resilient.

Tim Watkins is Managing Partner at Randall & Payne, where on top of a full accountancy service, we offer strategic business advice – to have a conversation about what we can help you to achieve, book a free consultation at or call 01242 776000.