It’s no secret that the UK in general, and the SME market in particular, is in a difficult part of the economic cycle. Fiscally 2019 has been one of the most interesting years for some time. The past 12 months has been dominated by the ‘B-word’ and more recently the general election, meaning that some small and medium-sized enterprises have held back from investing because of the uncertainty and worries about the future.

And because of this, some sectors have seen the lowest growth in a decade. However there is plenty to be positive about. One thing of note is the increased collaboration we’ve seen between companies – both in our own space and with others from outside the industry – than ever before. These partnerships are crucial in delivering a complete and more efficient, valuable service to customers. This coupled with the use of quality data is driving a new, improved customer experience and making the journey better for SMEs everywhere. I believe next year will be a year of change.

The general consensus is that there will be a spike in activity immediately after we leave the EU which will then diminish as the year goes on. We need to make sure that we are part of the structure that is establishing stability, supporting customers, helping them through the economic cycle and whatever else may lay ahead for them. Diversity, particularly in terms of young vibrant talent – will also be a key agenda point for 2020. It’s increasingly important to make sure there are new and different ideas on the table in this industry to ensure we keep pace with the rest of world out there. Recruiting based on skills and attitude (as opposed to qualifications and background) will become more vital to add core strength to a company.

At Simply, we’re reaping the benefits of having a more inclusive workforce and it’s a pleasure to work in such an environment and we are looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that we will face in 2019.