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How to keep your business competitive amid industry disruption

If you can’t beat them, join them, as they say. That’s the view many businesses are having to take as industry disruptors enter the market, armed with technology, to win over their customers.

Standing still is not an option for existing market players, who must join in and play their part in the digital revolution, or wave goodbye to their profit margin.

That might sound dramatic but you only need look at a few of the industries that have been shaken up by technology to see the reality of it:

  • Travel websites such as Expedia, Trivago and Airbnb have eliminated the need for human travel agents.
  • Newspapers and magazines have seen their circulation numbers decline steadily, with booming growth in online media and blogs.
  • Online estate agents such as Emoov and Purplebricks promise a “five star service for a fair fixed rate fee” which is squeezing high street agents.

To remain competitive, existing companies must show a willingness to move with the times to ensure they don’t stay stuck in the past.

Businesses risk becoming obsolescent

Our survey findings, for which we spoke to 250 employees with decision-making responsibility over equipment purchasing within their organisation, suggest that there’s a real risk of businesses becoming outdated.

The survey, conducted by Atomik Research in August 2018, revealed that, on average, companies own technology equipment worth £302,700. Of that technology, £93,800 worth of equipment is used infrequently (less than four months of the year) by businesses.

And companies own almost £90,800 worth of technology equipment that is no longer working.

Ominously, eight in ten office-based companies in the UK are holding on to obsolete items of technology that have no use to their business, including:

  1. Old computers that don’t work (36%)
  2. Typewriter/word processor (32%)
  3. Fax machine (30%)
  4. Old printers that don’t work (25%)
  5. Old laptops that don’t work (24%)
  6. Floppy disks (22%)
  7. Videos (16%)
  8. Video player/recorder (16%)
  9. Cassettes (13%)
  10. Cassette player/recorder (12%)

In more promising findings, office-based companies have spent, on average, £98,484 on new technology equipment/hardware (excluding software) in the last 12 months, proving there’s an appetite for new tech. However, with 85% of employees surveyed admitting that outdated equipment, or a lack of equipment, within their company has hindered their working ability, it would suggest that businesses aren’t doing enough to truly thrive in the new technological age and are happy to put their businesses at risk of being obsolescent.

A clue as to why this is the case might come in the answers to our question about the biggest challenges with purchasing new equipment. The top challenge cited by respondents was ‘keeping up with new innovations in the market’. In other words, they’re concerned that if they were to invest in new technology, within 12 months it would be considered outdated.

There’s an answer to this challenge – it’s called leasing. By leasing your technology equipment, you can regularly upgrade to the latest innovative solutions while avoiding major upfront costs that come with outright purchases.

Leasing could prove to be your ticket to staying competitive as industry disruptors continue to enter the market.

If you’re ready to discuss your business finance options, give us a call on 01827 302 066 or request a callback.

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Shire Leasing

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