Is your business model fit for purpose?

Christmas is over for another year. For many in retail – and the businesses that supply them – it’ll be over for good. HMV has already gone into administration. It won’t be the last retailer to do so.

The new year will inevitably bring more gloom to the high street as retailers, whose hopes were pinned on Christmas sales, call in the administrators – the undertakers to the business world. If your business supplies retailers and you are owed money get it now, although it may already be too late.

Conventional wisdom (which is rarely wise) would have the blame for this placed squarely at the door of the internet and Amazon for stealing the sales from bricks and mortar retailers. It’s a convenient fabrication.

The truth, as so often, is more complicated and strikes an interesting parallel with that other disaster of 2018, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, during which the greatest political trait on display was procrastination. Theresa May was master of the art. Jeremy Corbyn gave her a tremendous run for the title.

If it is repeated in 2019 we leave the EU without a deal in the biggest act of willful national self-destruction witnessed in living memory; just as businesses that continue to ignore the warning signs that their business models are no longer fit for purpose face a slow and often painful – for their creditors – death.

Because that is the outcome of procrastination – in business and in politics.

And so maybe the few remaining days of 2018 would be a good time to think: might my business model be showing its age? Do I know what my customers want from me in 2019? When did I last rejuvenate their customer experience? How can I serve them better/faster/cheaper? Which of my competitors are crushing it and how? What innovations can I bring to my business in 2019?

It takes wisdom and courage to change.

Have a courageous and prosperous new year.

Noel Guilford


PS If you haven’t received a copy of my book – How to build a successful business – and would like a copy please drop me a line and I’ll send you one.

Noel Guilford, Principal at Guilford Accounting
Noel Guilford is the principal of Guilford Accounting a small business accountancy practice specialising in advising owner-managed businesses on current accounting, finance, and tax matters. You can reach him via email at or by phone at 01244 660866. He is the author of the 'Figure it out - an entrepreneurs guide to understanding your business numbers' which you can obtain by visiting​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ His latest book, How to Build a Successful Business' will be published in 2018.

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