With the economy grinding to a halt, and with personal spending on a steep slope down, the spare cash available to businesses is becoming ever more stretched. Yet at the same time, our industry is told we need to diversify the products on offer, improve and innovate. But how businesses do this when their cash reserves are dwindling?

Introducing new products to market is a long and expensive process. They can’t be rushed otherwise it will cost yet more money to put the potential mistakes right. New and improved products are what have kept this market moving during these turbulent economic times. But with spare cash, that would have been earmarked for R&D, becoming a rare commodity, could we face an era where new product arrivals are rare and celebrated events?

The other factor we have to look at are companies’ willingness to spend their spare cash. If they think that the economy is heading for the rocks again, they’re going to need that sterling to keep the business solvent and their employees in jobs. Weigh that up against new products, and you’re only going to find one outcome. Though I know there is the argument that a revolutionary new product may bring in more money than the cost to develop it and bring it to market.

Let’s face it, confidence to spend is pretty much non-existent right now. That goes for me, you, our customers, manufacturers and profile companies (apart from Veka obviously!). I think we’re are going to see falling levels of investment, if we aren’t already. On the plus side, the last three years has seen wave upon wave of new products and innovations come to bare, so it’s not as if we don’t have anything to go on!