From Champagne to Bud Light

Mar 28 | 2023

Mark Oakeshott offers his words of wisdom on how to help your business lead the way into an uncertain future.

Mark Oakeshott Consulting  I know it will be hard to believe but my family are often accusing me of turning into a grumpy old man! On one hand I can see their point of view. I can often be heard muttering about anything from the scourge of remote working and the general lack of work ethic to anyone that dares exceed the speed limit in my neighbourhood.

However, from my perspective I see this period as a more refreshing stage of life. As I enter the final quarter of my contribution to the planet and, unburdened by any risk of losing my job, I feel increasingly confident about passing on the ‘benefit’ of my personal and professional opinion to anyone that cares to listen.

In keeping with that grumpy image, I suggested a couple of years ago that the champagne days may be well and truly over for the international moving industry. While the pandemic may have created temporary benefits for some and challenges for others, I didn’t think we would be transitioning to cheap beer as our beverage of choice quite so quickly.

I exaggerate, but the increasingly agile and selective buying behaviour adopted by corporate accounts, that was already leading to a steady contraction in market size, has only been compounded by a retreat from globalisation and a very uncertain political landscape. One look at the Global Conflict Tracker published by the Council for Foreign Relations is enough to send most people running to the nearest bunker. Even if world peace does hopefully break out, those tensions are not going to evaporate.

In short, there are not going to be too many corporate employees excitedly running home to their partner to say, “Great news, we have been offered a three-year assignment to Shanghai.” The international consumer (private) market may offer some rays of sunshine but as always becomes a race to the bottom in terms of price.

Time to retire and join the other miserable old men in the local coffee shop, you say? ...

Photo: Mark Oakeshott (right).

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