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What Have We Learnt In 2020?


We are hoping to have Jonathan McDermott from TPX at our next meeting but we are still working the details. Whether we manage to get him or not, we thought you would like to see his summary of the year, taken from his Facebook post... 

So 2020 is nearly over - what have we learned!

I know a lot of people are being really downbeat on 2020 (our local radio station really is) but lets be honest with ourselves for a second and reflect on some of the really positive learning that have come out of 2020. 

1. That no one is immune to a market or economy downturn. If 2020 has taught nothing else it is the importance of business resilience. You cannot assume that you will just bounce back nor can you assume that the good-times will always roll on (that is in part was what caused the Housing Market Crash in 2008).

2. That the world needs to evolve (or at least humans do). The way we have done business maintaining a doctrine that the high street is sacrosanct is based on thinking from the 1900's and is not compatible to the roller-coaster 20's we are now on. The businesses that will survive are those that have pivoted to react to the changes present. 

3. That the planning system is not compatible with 20's thinking. Even today we are still seeing planning authorities attempting to assert control when they really should be supporting the communities that they serve. Planners in local authority have forgotten their first duty which is to approve planning permission wherever possible unless material circumstances dictate otherwise. The white paper brings forward brave new ideas in my humble view that need to be brought forward if we are going to be able to support businesses, people and communities. 

4. That the days of offers above market value to secure the deal are long gone! Again in my humble view market contraction means that we will go back to a market where offers below value are the norm. 

5. That the major cities are currently going through out-migration. Bit of a no shit Sherlock on this one but excellent research done by Savills on out-migration from London demonstrated that the lure of the city has been tempered quite significantly and with better communications and connectivity the countryside is the better choice for quality of life and property value (at least while the pandemic rages on).

And finally! New year is a time for renewal! This year more than ever as the UK leaves the orbit of the EU and strikes out on its new brave adventure. I for one am excited about this new future and will be celebrating (rightly or wrongly - don't slate me for it!) the UK's Independence Day on the 31st of December. Fundamentally I think 2021 is going to be the year of the entrepreneur - those of use who have stepped beyond industrialised thinking and have moved into the entrepreneur revolution (thanks to Daniel Priestly for that book). 

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