The insolvency industry, much like a rollercoaster, comes with its fair share ofadrenaline-pumping highs and stomach-dropping lows. Companies operating in this sector face an ever-changing landscape, influenced by the cyclical nature of economic trends. But fear not! This article is designed to be your survival guide, providing strategies to help firms not only withstand these fluctuations but also leverage them for growth.
Understanding the UK Economic Climate and the Insolvency Industry
As we navigate through an uncertain economic climate, anticipated to take a downturn until summer 2023, the insolvency industry stands to experience an influx of new business. This cyclical pattern of high activity during economic struggles, followed by quiet periods in economic growth, is a common occurrence in the industry. Retaining experienced staff during quiet periods is a crucial challenge that firms must address to avoid redundancies. To succeed in this industry, a long-term strategy that spans over 10-20 years is suggested. This should ideally include ways to keep staff engaged and productive during periods of low activity.
Strategies for Busy Periods
During busy periods, the pressure is on. Ensuring that resources are used effectively is essential. Firms can do this through internal secondments, which allow employees to temporarily switch roles and gain experience in different areas. This not only maximises resource utilisation but also fosters an environment of continuous learning. Joint appointments of Insolvency Practitioners can help distribute the workload, providing much-needed relief during these high-pressure times. For larger cases or when old cases need to be closed, outsourcing tasks can be an invaluable tool to manage the overwhelming workloads. These periods are also an excellent opportunity for firms to analyse market trends, learn from their experiences and refine their future strategies. This insight can prove vital when predicting future trends and preparing for subsequent high-activity periods.
Strategies for Slow Periods
Slow periods shouldn’t equate to idle periods. Use this time wisely. Now is the chance to tie up loose ends by progressing older cases to closure and managing tasks that have been shoved to the backburner. Ensuring compliance and updating technical aspects can be tackled now, mitigating any potential issues down the line. Employee development can also be given attention during these quieter periods. Launch training initiatives like the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Accreditation, which can prepare staff for future upticks in work. Upskilling employees to cover more roles can lead to improved adaptability and resilience.
Paul Beecham, Business Recovery and Insolvency Manager at Monahans details his advice: “Use the time to help employees to add more strings to their bow of abilities, upskilling them so that they can plug any gaps or work across multiple teams. Not only will it ensure that any talent weaknesses are addressed but will also help to make them a more ‘rounded individual’ ready to adapt to evolving situations that may be outside of their job description.” These periods can also be used to boost the firm’s brand through promotional activities. Maintain a consistent online presence, engage with your audience, and keep the conversation around your firm alive on social media. This will ensure your firm stays top-of-mind even during lull periods.
Attracting Talent to the Insolvency Industry
Despite the industry’s cyclical nature, it’s essential to shed light on the positive aspects of a career in insolvency. The industry has been burdened with a negative reputation due to media coverage focused on job losses. But let’s not overlook the variety of work, the opportunities to solve complex problems, and the chance to make a positive impact on the business world that a career in insolvency provides. Promoting these aspects can attract new talent, ensuring the long-term viability of the industry.
Adaptability and Future Preparedness
Firms that can nimbly navigate the peaks and troughs of insolvency work are the ones that will stand tall. Adapting to the current climate, using time wisely, and preparing effectively for both busy and slow periods will pave the way for success. Being proactive rather than reactive is the key to survival in this unpredictable industry.
Riding the insolvency rollercoaster is not for the faint-hearted. The highs and lows of this industry, influenced by the ebbs and flows of the economic climate, require resilience, adaptability, and a forward-thinking approach. However, with the right strategies in place, firms can leverage each phase of the cycle to their advantage. Be it optimising resources during high-activity periods, investing in employee development and brand promotion during downtime, or shifting the narrative to attract new talent, every stage offers unique opportunities. So buckle up, and prepare for the ride!