The UK's business services sector has always been a significant contributor to the nation’s economy, accounting for around 10% of gross domestic product and employing roughly 3.3 million people.
A seismic shift in the UK’s ‘economic barometer’
This diverse market – which spans sub-sectors like facilities management, outsourcing, logistics and operational support – acts a barometer of the health of the UK economy as a whole.
Winners and losers within the sector
Since Coronavirus (COVID-19) first reached the UK, that barometer has been swinging wildly. Some segments – such as facilities management and serviced-office providers - have inevitably taken a severe hit as staff have abandoned their offices en masse to work from home. Conversely, sub-sectors that serve end-user markets where demand has skyrocketed during the pandemic – like pharmaceuticals and grocery – have fared much better in comparison.
COVID-19 may have dealt a damaging blow to the business services sector overall, but it has also presented firms with a timely opportunity to reevaluate the way they operate – not just now, but in the future. For many of the harder-hit sub-sectors, this will mean refocusing on core areas and diversifying their income streams to promote greater resilience going forward. For the sector as a whole, it will give added impetus to the long-overdue need to invest in digital technologies that can automate cumbersome manual processes, deliver greater efficiencies and eliminate their reliance on location. Those business services firms that can be agile and responsive in tackling these challenges head on will not only future-proof their businesses, but also enhance their reputations.
How we can help
Our multidisciplinary business services group acts for clients across a range of advisory and transactional matters. We’ve successfully managed a variety of assignments and completed a number of deals in this sector, putting us in the perfect position to help clients to understand the market and achieve the best outcome for their business.