New reports show 1 in 7 businesses were 'on the brink' even before lockdown

The devastation brought to the business world by the Coronavirus pandemic has been well documented, with the second lockdown providing yet another hurdle for business owners to overcome. However, new reports show that 1 in 7 businesses were already struggling before the November lockdown was enforced.

The impact of the Coronavirus has challenged the business world in every possible way - from firms having to close their doors, to having to incorporate new procedures into every day business to ensure workers and spaces are "COVID safe". Working from home, too, has been enforced through both national lockdowns and has challenged the very infrastructure of businesses as they had to adopt remote methods and tools.

Now, with two vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna bringing hope that society return to "normal" by the Spring, The Future Strategy Club ( explore whether the world of business will revert, or evolve. Many have already had to pivot their business model to remain nimble during the pandemic, perhaps by introducing an online arm to their service offering.

The lockdown brought the chance for many business leaders to recalibrate and evaluate the use of expensive overheads, such as office spaces for example. Research from The Future Strategy Club also shows that 29% of firm owners have already streamlined their teams, and it may be that now businesses will need to fill the gaps that may be evident in their teams as they look to launch projects post-lockdown. Freelance workers can help with this, and bringing in seasoned experts for short-term projects is set to be a growing trend in 2021 as the world of business has changed forever.

Justin Small, founder of the FSC, discusses how freelance workers can help business during these difficult times:

"Business owners and managers will have faced innumerable challenges over the past few months, as supply chains have been disrupted, trading temporarily ceased and employees had to adapt to working from home. Now is the time when business leaders do not just need advice on how to see their firms through these unprecedented times, but require a hands-on approach.

An outside consultant can bring a fresh perspective to struggling businesses, and integrate a new, more flexible ethos to firms who are looking for the best way to accommodate new business models and a more flexible working approach after the lockdown period. Consultants talk to other consultants and these peer-to-peer conversations help to share the knowledge of those experts who have dealt with previous crises, such as the 2008 crash, that now can be applied to help small firms weather this pandemic."

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