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It’s that time of year, where experts from the GM Business Growth Hub give you an insight into our business trends and predictions for 2024.

Annie Platts and Jez Heys from our Key Account Managers share their predictions.

An Insightful 12 months

Over the past twelve months, Greater Manchester businesses have been navigating through a turbulent landscape. From unprecedented economic uncertainties to the shift in consumer demand.

Greater Manchester businesses have had to factor in and adjust to the increased cost of raw materials and production, putting pressure on businesses to manage their expenses effectively. We have seen businesses focusing on operational efficiencies and productivity to balance out their bottom line.

We’ve compiled our business predictions for 2024 from the national picture and our own research. Every month we survey Northern businesses for our GC Situation Report which contains leading economic data from both national and local sources.

Conquering Business Challenges

Despite these significant challenges, Greater Manchester businesses have shown resilience and creativity in finding new solutions and strategies to stay afloat. The main current economic impacts are higher/rising costs, reduced sales, minor supply chain issues, and rising cashflow concerns.

We found that whilst cost risks have decreased over the last quarter – it remains an issue for over a third of firms significantly.

Organisations are embracing innovation and seeking support to help them do this, leading to interesting collaborations and game changing solutions in many areas including automation and the adoption of green technologies.

Disappointment around HS2 lingers but the Northwest continues to push forward, using innovation as the frontier for establishing Greater Manchester as a leading city to do business in and with.

Aligning Business Priorities and Goals

Our priority has and always will be Equality, diversity, and inclusion within our recruitment processes. What is great to see, is that there has been a continued shift throughout Greater Manchester in business trends towards prioritizing equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the hiring process and this is predicted to continue throughout 2024.

Instead of solely focusing on traditional qualifications, organisations are now actively seeking candidates from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. This includes ensuring equal opportunities for underrepresented groups, addressing unconscious biases, and implementing inclusive hiring practices. Over 50% of firms report workforce skill gaps, broadly similar to previous months, these mostly relate to sales and management/leadership skills, as well as industry-specific technical knowledge.

By embracing EDI in recruitment, companies can foster a more inclusive and equitable workplace, leading to increased employee satisfaction, improved company reputation, and ultimately, improved business outcomes.

Business Predictions That Will Shape 2024

Looking into the predictions for 2024, businesses in the Northwest are expected to face significant challenges in areas such as, rising costs, accessing new domestic sales opportunities, developing their business models, introducing new products/services, and addressing workforce development.

They need support to tackle these challenges, including business planning, marketing, innovation, workforce development, and financial advice.

Despite facing challenging circumstances in 2023, businesses have remained confident. To ensure this confidence continues, two key factors need to be addressed. Firstly, there should be more opportunities and funding available for Greater Manchester.

Secondly, there should be a focus on diversifying the opportunities in the region. Recent events like the Chanel Show and Factory International have highlighted the importance of Greater Manchester in the national landscape. It is crucial to maintain this momentum for the benefit of both the businesses and individuals in the area.

Contact Us: Your Direct Line to Support

Furthermore, if you have any concerns or queries about the information in this article or you would like any support, please get in touch.

Get in touch with the team here or


Tel: 01613593050

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