Tough Challenges, New Possibilities: interview with Lord Hammond of Runnymede

Welcome to ‘Tough Challenges, New Possibilities’, the interview series that asks business leaders for their advice for small businesses to adapt and thrive in these challenging times. We spoke to Lord Hammond of Runnymede about the challenges small businesses are facing, the importance of the fourth industrial revolution and post-pandemic opportunities. 

What’s the biggest challenge small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) face coming out of the pandemic?

The first instinct was to hunker down and survive, generating and preserving liquidity as best you can. Now we’re moving into a phase when business and government have to take stock of structural changes, such as the move to a cashless society. We’re probably never going back, so SMEs need to be agile, honest and nimble in re-evaluating their business models.

Philip Hammond

What more should banks do to help SMEs?

Big banks’ connections to small businesses give them a major role in the eco-system. During the pandemic, they’ve acted as intermediaries delivering government guarantees and getting loans to SMEs. They can also bring SMEs game-changing technologies, allowing them to compete and succeed.

Philip Hammond

How can technology enable SMEs to make a difference?

Technology enfranchises SMEs, reducing the economies of scale larger competitors enjoy and giving them access to buyers who weren’t accessible a few years ago. Through technology platforms, SMEs can also access tools like loyalty programmes that were previously the preserve of larger businesses.

To read more of Philip Hammond’s insights, check out the full interview below.