It’s budget time….

It’s that fun time of year when we set our budgets for next year. We now have our results for 11 months of 2011 and they were pretty good despite a poor market. It’s my Boards Away Day today…

Budgeting for next year is going to be a whole different ball game. Has anyone any idea what is going on in the World?

I blogged about retailing yesterday – and judging by Christmas shopping experience at the weekend – they are not going to have a great time. There are lots of vacant shops in Nottingham, estimated to be 15%, but I think it is more. We have 2.3m square feet of offices vacant in the east midlands main towns – Nottingham, Leicester and Derby. That figure is likely to worsen as Local Authorities downsize. Industrial properties are probably holding their own due to the relative equilibrium of supply and demand.

These sectors provide us with work. We buy, sell, lease, survey and value this stuff. Lack of transactions hits the business hard. Our professional services are critical in these times – Building Surveying and Management teams are always busy. Our Rating team is too – as they try to get down liabilities. We have seen an upturn in work looking at Service Charges – where people are scrutinising Landlords charges – I have just saved someone £10,000 through technical errors in demands.

The lack of confidence is going to be a big part of 2012. It’s not all about big new deals. We rely on ‘churn’. Even downsizing generates work! People sitting on their hands doesn’t. We have plenty of people doing just that.

So, I need to somehow, come up with some figures to tell my Partners where I think the billing will be at over the next year. I’m not enjoying thinking about it. The only thing that makes me feel better is that they too will be scratching their heads…

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