It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the business environment of the day - or at least of recent years - is the norm that will provide the backdrop for the near future too.
Hopefully the shock of the Brexit vote will have ended such complacency, but at the start of November, the Bank of England raised the interest rate for the first time in more than 10 years.
As the rate hoisted from 0.25 to 0.5 per cent, Bank of England governor Mark Carney said that was only the start. Carney explained that the bank expects the UK economy to grow at about 1.7 per cent for the next few years, a projection since confirmed in the autumn Budget, which he said would require "about two more interest rate increases over the next three years".
We have not seen an interest rate rise since July 2007. For context, you might work with a 31-year-old who has never seen an interest rate rise in their working career. Perhaps that person works in an area where an interest rate rise affects what they do. For such people, this is virgin territory.
The channel, already juggling margin pressures, Brexit uncertainties, disruptive technologies, the IT skills gap, changing partner programmes, staff retention issues, the transition to cloud and market consolidation, had yet another aspect to factor.
While a rise in the interest rate will be gradual, what will a higher interest rate environment mean for business in the channel?
"An interest rate rise will potentially have an impact on demand," said Paul Cubbage, managing director of distributor Target Components. "Starting with consumer demand, we are at a point where consumer credit levels are getting worrying again, we have Brexit to come and all the uncertainty that brings, and increased mortgage rates as interest rates go up. It could be the same with business demand, where there will be a general weakening in demand."
Cubbage added that there will be a disparity in how rising interest rates will affect various businesses in the channel.
"That will come down to how highly geared and well funded people are. There has been quite a lot of acquisitions, so a lot comes down to how those acquisitions are funded," he said.
"You are not in frightening territory when you have a 0.25 rise in interest rates, but as it goes up further it will depend on the gearing of different businesses. It throws an entirely different dynamic in there in terms of what it costs to fund the acquisitions. Anybody who funds the business on debt will obviously be paying a lot more to service it."
Cubbage said that if a channel business had been highly acquisitive over the last five or 10 years, the early part of that was probably done more sensibly because as the mindset was linked to a low interest rate environment.
"People get sucked into thinking something is the norm the longer it goes on. When you have had as long as we have had on near-zero interest rates, people can start to get carried away," he said.
"I wouldn't be surprised if some of the more recent acquisitions were done more optimistically looking at the interest rate. There is still a lot of optimism that they are not going to start shooting up. We have only had a 0.25 rise so far, so it is not dramatic at this stage.
"There is the danger that it builds that element of fear as they are only going to go in one direction, as there is not far to go in the other direction. There is then that fear factor of how to service that debt and I'm not sure there is a great deal that people can start doing differently."
Cubbage said the psychology of starting to believe a low interest rates environment was here to stay could be likened to the thinking before housing market or credit bubbles.
"While no-one sets off with the intention of doing stupid things, people just get in the habit of ‘actually, we can just keep doing this'. It should be foreseen, but it becomes an unforeseen consequence when the playing field starts to shift and the interest rate starts to rise. If there are casualties from it, you can look back and say it was a bit naïve, but it is normal that people act in the business environment they are in and get a bit carried away," he said.
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