The question I most frequently ask members is ‘how’s business?’. As you’d expect, some of the answers have been rather gloomy. But recently, there’s been a discernible change.
Nobody should think that everything’s suddenly perfect. But a significant minority of members now say that things are improving -and the majority of members say that things are now stable.
Our most up-to-date quarterly benchmarking data is just in, covering the period April to June. And it provides figures to back up the words I’ve been hearing. I won’t go into the detail too much, because the full report will be launched next week on our website, but the headlines are certainly encouraging.
The number of members reporting an increase in client spend now roughly matches the number reporting a decrease; the number saying that the new business pipeline is busy now exceeds the number saying it’s quiet. And the number saying they’re reducing headcount is now pretty much matched by those saying they’re increasing headcount.
Don’t read too much into this –the downturn hasn’t suddenly performed an abrupt u-turn. And it would be a brave man who predicted the recovery had started -but it might also be sensible to say that maybe the market’s now stabilised? The only way is up hopefully….