Friday, 27 August 2010


Since returning from my family holiday I've been taking a fresh look at our business plans, goals and targets for the coming financial year, which for the Hanley starts on 1st September.( a bit quirky I know but the date is a legacy of our long history and we are wary of changing to a more conventional financial year)
At the core of our thinking on 2010/2011 are a series of assumptions on how markets will perform in the months ahead, what the interest rate and inflation numbers will look like and how we can carve our niche amidst the ever-changing trading conditions. In such circumstances it would be a delight to be able to rely on economic forecasts but my recent reviews of even the most eloquent of "experts" reminds me of the quote attributed to JK Galbraith that " the only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable".
Even the Monetary Policy Committee has taken some stick in the media for its failure to get much right when predicting the future , but most of us are not hoodwinked into thinking that anyone really knows with assured certainty what will really happen in the UK economy. Best-guessing is about as much as we can expect .That's why it is vital for a business like ours to evaluate, monitor and control risks and not indulge in new ventures which depend on a rose-tinted view of the future. It is also why it is essential for us to keep working on what we are already good at, refine what we do and stay flexible. At least I can forecast that we will enter our new financial year full of optimism in our ability to do precisely that.

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