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Businesses can be hit by circumstances beyond their control: changes of personnel, fluctuations in the economy, shifts of fashion and customer preference.

Monitor Audio is one company that has faced a number of big challenges since opening for business in 1972: the founding entrepreneur was bought out, the 1998 Asian financial crash instantly reduced sales by 25% and technological changes have transformed the way people enjoy music. At the same time, manufacturing has largely gone offshore to China and recorded music has become portable, with people carrying their music collections in their pockets.

But being able to roll with the punches is often the sign of a business that’s being well-run: ‘We’ve faced our share of global changes,’ says company chairman, Andrew Flatt, ‘but the most important thing for us is how we adapt our product to serve the needs of the customer. Putting the speakers in the right place and setting them up properly is a key part of how they sound when they’re in use, and we have to work with the situation we are presented with.’

Accordingly, the company now produces a range of audio equipment - from furniture-grade cabinets to invisible speakers, which can keep customers happy whether they want their speakers to be a talking point or disappear in the background.

However the world changes, Andrew Flatt is confident that one fundamental business principle remains true: ‘Customer loyalty is ultimately what will see us through an unknowable future.’

Further readingCelebrating British Excellence

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