Looking Back, Looking Forward

’Twas the night before Christmas…

Well, nearly. Just five sleeps to go as my children would say – and this year, Ed, try and remember the carrot for Rudolph…

I know you’re desperate to leave the office so I won’t keep you too long – but the last blog before Christmas is a good time to take a look back at 2013, and to see what 2014 has in store for TAB York and its members.

January seems a long time ago now – and the year did not start well. Business confidence was low and there were real fears of the UK slipping back into a triple-dip recession. Looking around the TAB boardroom table now – and speaking to people in and around York – exactly the reverse seems to be the case. Confidence among SMEs is gradually returning: slowly perhaps, but the glass is definitely half-full these days.

Plenty of TAB members have had tough decisions to make this year and I’m pleased to say that by and large they’ve got those decisions right. For a lot of you it’s been the year when the buck has well and truly stopped at your desk, and I know there have been a few sleepless nights over some of the choices you’ve had to make. Hopefully those decisions are now paying off.

In particular it’s always tempting when the economy is bumping along the bottom to change your relationship with customers and suppliers – to ‘buy’ business or accept second best from your suppliers. Don’t. Once you’ve done that it never goes back to the way it was when the economy finally improves. So an A* to everyone who stuck to their guns in 2013.

Of course, 2013 was also a special year for TAB York with Jackie and Julia joining the team. Or more precisely, turning a one man band into a team!

And the ‘growing up’ theme was continued at home: Dan has now started ‘big school’ – and all is well so far, thank goodness. My wife started a new job: and maybe this is the appropriate time to say thank you to Dav for all her support throughout the year – and to apologise for the times I’ve said, “Just give me a few minutes while I finish the blog…”

So what of 2014?

Well, the Reid family will be taking to the ski slopes in February. Borovets in Bulgaria may never be the same again. And of course, the Tour de France comes to Yorkshire – which is a tremendous coup for the region. Sadly it may give several middle-aged men who should know better the chance to slip into a pair of cycling shorts, but in terms of publicity and the ‘feelgood’ factor it’s absolutely brilliant.

It’s going to be an exciting year for TAB York as well. The plan is to reach 50 members, which would put us in the premier league of TAB ‘global.’ I won’t put a date on it, but that’s the first target.

And there are some ambitious targets among the TAB York members as well – which I’m really pleased to see. Several Board members have weathered the storms of the last few years and now find themselves positioned for serious success – and I’m delighted for them.

So despite 2013 starting off on a low key note it’s ending with a general feeling of optimism (unless you’re one of my sons, in which case it’s almost uncontrollable optimism at the moment. But no, we have not bought everything on your list…)

2014 promises to be exciting, challenging and full of opportunities – and I am seriously looking forward to seeing and sharing the success of my TAB members. You’ve worked hard; you deserve it.

And now all that’s left is to thank you for reading the blog throughout the year and to wish you and those close to you a very happy Christmas: and may 2014 be a truly special year for you.



  1. Dick Jennings · December 20, 2013

    Merry Christmas Ed, and thanks for another year’s fine blogging.

  2. edreidyork · December 20, 2013

    And to you too, Dick – hope you enjoy the festivities!

  3. simonjhudson · December 23, 2013

    Here’s to us all for turning 2013 into the year where things improved – it’s SME’s at the forefront.
    Thanks to Ed, TAB (and other such business support across the UK) we are all in a better place.

    Merry Christmas one and all.(Ho!)^3

  4. edreidyork · December 23, 2013

    You had it right the first time, Simon; it’s been a collective effort by all those involved in the SME world to start the turnaround – 2014 is about accelerating us out of the tough times and into serious and sustainable growth – bring it on! Loving the “ho to the power of 3”!

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