While international investment continues to thrive and the impending Brexit deadline likely to bring economic clarity, the future of business looks to be bright, according to the latest annual report by specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co.
The report, ‘Business Outlook 2019: Navigate, Innovate, Accelerate,’ reflects on the themes, activity and challenges of the previous year and forecasts what 2019 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operates, including healthcare, hospitality and retail. Overall, whilst headwinds affect the majority of these sectors, predominantly increasing operating costs and recruitment, growth was still seen by many businesses.
A shift in investor appetite in the commercial property market has seen greater demand for ‘alternatives’ property, fuelled by Asian and European investors keen to capitalise on developments in the healthcare, childcare and hospitality sectors.
Brexit is identified as a pivotal factor for many businesses in the UK, with some having benefitted from the relatively low value of the pound and others feeling the pressure of an uncertain outcome. Generally, an upturn in confidence is expected with the clarity 2019 should bring. Additionally, more alternative lenders are coming to the fore, as traditional banks are more cautious to lend, creating greater opportunity for business owners looking to embark on their first venture or expand.
Within the report, the key strategies which business owners and operators may employ to navigate challenges throughout 2019 are identified as: ensuring staff retention, minimising costs through new innovation and better operational management, and reinvestment. These approaches are found to be applicable to a range of sectors, giving businesses of all sizes an edge to adapt and thrive in 2019.
Average prices remained economically positive throughout 2018 across almost every sector in which Christie & Co specialises. These are as follows:
Dental: + 5.2%
Pharmacy: + 2.8%
Care: + 3.1%
Childcare: + 8%
Retail: + 1.3%
Pubs: + 2.7%
Restaurants: - 1.3%
Hotels: + 4%
Chris Day, Global Managing Director at Christie & Co, comments, “There is no doubt that the past year has been a struggle for some businesses in the UK, particularly on the high street and casual dining operations, however there has also been plenty to be optimistic about. Consumer demand across many sectors grows, particularly those with exciting concepts or which are successfully utilising new technologies, whilst investment from overseas has seen a healthy continuation which doesn’t look set to slow. With ever changing political and consumer landscapes, being aware and prepared to adapt will help business flourish this year.”