What’s impacting business services?
The business services sector has delivered strong growth since the last financial crisis and the UK has gained an impressive international reputation for expertise in fields such as legal services, accountancy, financial services, media, advertising and management consultancy.
Other sectors including recruitment services and marketing firms have also experienced strong growth. Contributing £186 billion to UK Gross Value Added and employing around 4.6 million people, this diverse sector is vital to the UK economy and has a particularly high concentration of SMEs.
Business Service Sector advice services
We advise lawyers, barristers, accountants, marketing, advertising and recruitment practices, as well as sector-dependent clients. We work closely to find solutions to industry issues, utilising our expertise in everything from business strategy and corporate finance, to audit and tax advice.
Can incremental productivity gains deliver lasting value?
Martin Atkins – Business Services Expert
Most people already know that UK productivity is not as strong as it should be, but do you understand why it matters and what you can do about it?
In our latests business services insights report, we explore why and how business owners can boost productivity within their own operations.
Our key sector challenges
The UK legal services market is facing wide-ranging challenges due to a shifting regulatory environment and other disruptive factors, including economic and political. Since deregulation, competition in the sector has increased sharply, from the growing number of internet self-help sites, well-funded technologically advanced disrupters and even the larger Accountancy firms. This is putting pressure on profits and driving market consolidation along with the ongoing issues of succession and retention and recruitment of key staff and partners of the future. Other challenges facing the legal sector include cost certainty for clients, data security, technology and cash and profit management.
The UK recruitment sector has continued to thrive in recent years with the number of agencies increasing to more than 40,000 and the sector currently contributing close to £36 billion to the UK economy. The sector is however one of the first to experience the impact of changes in business confidence, so cash flow management, financial modelling and strategic planning are all important for successful businesses operating in this sector. Like many other sectors, recruitment is seeing increasing disruption as technology changes the nature of services and industry dynamic.
The skills shortage within the UK labour market continues to increase competition between employers and agencies alike. Further challenges for the sector include data security and regulatory and tax compliance, whilst consultancy, talent management and diversity all present opportunities for recruitment agencies to differentiate their offering.
The financial services sector has long been one of the UK’s most attractive economic assets. There are certainly challenges with many companies, large and small, looking to establish a presence on the continent in response to Brexit. However the FinTech revolution is still burning strong with the combination of ideas and talent leading to London being dubbed the ‘FinTech capital’.
Insurance brokers face stiff competition due to the high volume of new entrants and growth in the use of cost comparison sites.Additionally, fund managers are fighting to deal with recent changes to regulation. For both, customer relationships remain key and ensuring that the level of service far outweighs the potential benefits of the alternatives. Data security and the use of technology are other areas that should be reviewed to ensure they are not holding the business back. Across the whole of the Financial Services sector talent management is a key consideration, the best staff know their value and it is important to incentivise them not only through remuneration packages, but with other benefits that make their working life more comfortable
Media sector businesses continue to face significant disruption, due to ongoing digital transformation and changing consumer expectations and behaviours. For media publishers, reduced advertising revenues and circulations have impacted their business models and monetising digital services has proved challenging. Budgets for brand-building services, such as those delivered by PR, marketing and digital agencies and website generators, have remained strong as many brand owners view online presence as a key means of differentiation.
Challenges facing the media sector include achieving growth in a shifting marketplace, strategy, embracing the latest digital technologies, people management and consolidation and partnership.
Brighter Thinking for Law Firms
Written by Menzies Partner and Legal Services expert Peter Noyce, ‘Brighter Thinking for Law Firms’ is a one-stop practical guide for the forward-thinking law firm – from the hot topics of the moment to the challenges to overcome – all you need to know, from those in the know.
While it may not be everyone’s ideal example of bedtime reading if you are the leader of a law firm this book is pure gold.
Compiled and co-authored by Peter Noyce, partner and professional services specialist at accountancy firm, Menzies LLP, each chapter of Brighter Thinking for Law Firms delivers valuable insights from real experts in their field. The book includes everything from instilling efficient financial practices to people solutions, thinking internationally and preparing for the legal services marketplace of the future.
If you are running or helping to run a law firm, this book should be part of your management toolkit.