Business leaders confident they can withstand economic turbulence

11th July 2023

More than a fifth (22%) of UK business leaders now believe their business to be “extremely resilient”– suggesting organisations in the UK have learned to adapt to the long-term economic turbulence of the last decade.

According to Dun & Bradstreet’s Data-Driven Resilience report – which surveyed 3,396 business leaders across 18 countries – three years of pessimistic outlooks and fear-mongering media reports over an impending recession may finally have led to crisis fatigue amongst decision makers, who – having survived this long – have now settled on a more positive outlook. Indeed, the study found that in the UK, a huge two-thirds (65%) of decision-makers believe their business to be resilient even in the most “turbulent” economic periods.

That business resilience can be put down to – according to respondents – three key factors:

  • The use of data-driven insights to predict future events;
  • A self-professed loyal customer base;
  • Selling a product for which demand increases in an economic downturn such as discounted or second-hand goods

With the use of data-driven insights coming out as key, it is now becoming ever more critical for organisations to maintain a high quality of data to make smart decisions. After all, three-quarters (75%) of UK business leaders already see data as vital to helping their business to identify new customers, while 79% view it as a means of assessing future potential risks to the business.

Commenting on the findings, Edgar Randall, Managing Director at Dun and Bradstreet UK&I, said “Optimism is a wonderful thing, and to see that despite a long and drawn-out season of economic negativity the UK’s leaders are not only undeterred by but even see opportunity in it, is hugely heartening. Clearly, the run of “Black Swan” economic events that have hit Britain – and the wider world – in recent years have done nothing to soften our famous stiff upper lip. In fact, from conversations we’re having with our customers, many leaders are buoyed by fresh opportunities that could supercharge their growth in 2023 and beyond.”

“This confidence comes directly from data. Armed with data-backed insight into potential market opportunities, businesses can make smarter decisions to attract new customers, build better relationships with old ones, vet new suppliers, establish strong fiscal pipelines, and build their business’ resilience. They’re also identifying new markets as old ones dissipate – all with a view to future-proofing their business’s operations for the long term. We can’t underestimate the value of that mindset shift.”

“Leaders have swapped operating with caution for operating with intelligent insights. An ability to adapt and pivot in line with future challenges is more valuable now than it ever has been.”