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Preparing to take a dip

01 May 2015
Preparing to take a dip

Peter Hancock, chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels, suggests a few measures to mitigate against the inevitable next recession

When Gordon Brown promised "no more boom and bust", I suspect we all realised he was away with the fairies, given the hard fact that our economy has been cyclical for generations.

We're not hearing the word used just yet, but economists may look back on the current period as another "boom", thanks to the helpful combination of low inflation, low interest rates, rising GDP and the extraordinarily rapid creation of new jobs in the private sector.

If I were capable of predicting how long these benign conditions will last, I'd have a column in the Financial Times and a much bigger car on the driveway, but everyone knows that another recession is pretty certain to come along, and that when it does, as always, it'll take most of us by surprise.

So what, if anything, can operators in hospitality do to prepare for the next crash?

My own view is plenty, and all of it beneficial to your business, whatever happens in the meantime. These basic steps represent what George Osborne would call "fixing the roof while the sun is shining".

Investing in people

There is always a risk when putting resources into training or the development of staff that they could leave and take their newly acquired skills with them. But I have yet to meet a successful employer who has regretted doing so and, of course, it's far worse to be saddled with people who do stay and have not learned anything new.

When Gordon Brown promised "no more boom and bust", I suspect we all realised he was away with the fairies, given the hard fact that our economy has been cyclical for generations. We're not hearing the word used just yet, but economists may look back on the current period as another "boom", thanks to the helpful combination of low inflation, low interest rates, rising GDP and the extraordinarily rapid creation of new jobs in the private sector.

If I were capable of predicting how long these benign conditions will last, I'd have a column in the Financial Times and a much bigger car on the driveway, but everyone knows that another recession is pretty certain to come along, and that when it does, as always, it'll take most of us by surprise. So what, if anything, can operators in hospitality do to prepare for the next crash?

My own view is plenty, and all of it beneficial to your business, whatever happens in the meantime. These basic steps represent what George Osborne would call "fixing the roof while the sun is shining".

Investing in people

There is always a risk when putting resources into training or the development of staff that they could leave and take their newly acquired skills with them. But I have yet to meet a successful employer who has regretted doing so and, of course, it's far worse to be saddled with people who do stay and have not learned anything new.

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