From The Trade

Adam Weaver - managing director of Proppa.com - offers us his news, views and advice in every issue of 4x4 Mart. This month he's pondering the dilemmas faced by today's businesses... and the challenges that lie ahead

By the time the last edition of 4x4 Mart went to press, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had just announced a series of drastic cuts that formed the coalition Governments spending review. Ar.d since then, as the nation begins to realise the effects of these cuts, they have continued to dominate the headlines on a daily basis.

Am I wrong in suggesting that the general mood of the nation seems to be this: whilst the forthcoming cuts are going to be painful for all of us, they're a long overdue necessity? If the press are to be believed, though, it seems barely any of us will be able to avoid feeling the pinch in the years to come. Tough times, it seems, lie ahead.

With this in mind, companies throughout the UK - whatever line uf business lliey are in - need lo be looking at how best they can survive this belt-tightening exercise. And the fact that these cuts come hot on the heels of what was described as the worst recession since the Great Depression is not welcome news.

Whilst every company is different -and the way in which every company operates is different - one thing is for certain: these cuts will impact on all businesses. That said, the rationale behind the Spending Review is to get Britain and British businesses back on their feet. Easier said than done, of course, when many are still reeling from the downturn and the lack of investment funds...

All of this represents yet another blow for British businesses, which -whether large or small - are faced with a number of decisions if they're not only to survive but to prosper in the future. Do they diversify to broaden their business base and reduce their exposure? Do they retrench - probably even further - to ride out the storm? Or do they stick to what they know and doggedly battle on, focusing on organic growth?

Hie temptation for many is lo lake the diversification route, making sure they don't put all their proverbial business eggs in one basket. However, drawing on my own experiences, the best piece of advice I can give is this: do what you do best and focus on growing your company's core strengths and offerings.

Ten years ago, at the tender age of 20, I launched my first business venture in partnership with some friends. We made and sold our own alcoholic beverage, and the business proved to be an instant success, growing at an amazingly quick rate. In fact, it was such a soar-away success - in a much bigger way than any of us had anticipated - that we struggled to cope with demand.

We all know that one of the best ways to kick-start the economy again is to invest

Needless to say, after just two years the bubble burst and the business collapsed around us. It was a tough lesson learned at an extremely young age - but its an experience that has stood me in good stead in getting Proppa off the ground and established.

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