Important in uncertain times to look out, not in

Caroline Williams
Caroline Williams

I know you’ve heard enough of it. But I do want to refer to Brexit. As the process begins, business life is going to be unpredictable for a while.

And it’s in unpredictable and uncertain times that it’s important for businesses to be “out there”. Getting in front of people and talking to them is vital.

Companies need to communicate, share ideas and exchange views because it’s only through that interaction that we’ll be able to establish an agenda and clarify what commerce actually needs.

The reality is that some opportunities may not be immediately obvious. Which is why it’s important to look out, not in. Why? Because even if these uncertain times are making customers cautious about change; even if they’re not actively looking for new suppliers, the chances are that your talking to them may well just trigger them into a process leading to your order book.

At the Chamber we’re contributing to the process by beginning a series of round table discussion across the region, including Kings Lynn, allowing companies to talk openly about what they see as their needs and requirements to be able to grow their own organisations and subsequently the West Norfolk economy. We are also continuing our very successful networking series, West Norfolk Nites, open and free to all West Norfolk businesses. Details www.norfolkchamber.co.uk

As some of you will know I’m stepping down at the end of April, after 17 years, from my role as Chief Executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. I’m moving on to pursue new ideas and challenges of running my own business – combining my hard-nosed business experience with my executive coaching skills.

To have been able to share my thoughts with you through these columns has been a pleasure, and a privilege. I hope that many of them will have resonated with you.

As I move forward I remain as optimistic about, and confident in, this region’s business community’s ability to take advantage of the new opportunities which come our way, and continue to develop and grow.

I wish each of you every success in the future, and hope our paths cross again.