What will be the outcomes for business of the Brexit vote? Let’s face it, no one knows. The dust has not yet settled – far from it. So how should we be responding to what has happened, when we don’t yet know what the consequences will be?
First and foremost, before the Brexit negotiations have even started, let’s aim for business as usual. Nothing changes at this stage and the fundamentals remain the same. Keep working on all the basic good practices as any SME should at any time. But ensure there is a Plan B – all businesses should have a contingency plan (a fundamental good practice of its own!). Your contingency plan should cover many of the possible consequences of Brexit so if you don’t yet have one, it’s time to draw one up.
There are four main areas that are likely to be affected in the short term or at least while the current uncertainty continues:
- Currency exposure – any sustainable business should be managing its currency exposure appropriately (you can get help with this from us at ABP, or from companies such as our partners Smart Currency.
- Supply chain – ensure you’re not over-reliant on one or two suppliers and always have reserves on the bench who can be used if needed.
- Customer markets – you should never rely too much on too few customers in too few markets – diversification is key to growth.
- Employees – do assure your loyal staff that you are there for them and that you want to keep them. The rights of EU migrants already in situ are under consideration (though they might choose not to stay, of course) – but, again, we don’t know what will happen and considering all the possibilities should be a part of your contingency planning.
In summary, during the immediate term, reassure your employees and aim to ensure your supply chain and customer base is diversified outside the EU. You might also be able to set some action for how to capitalise on the weak pound which will help with being more competitive in Asia and Americas’ dollar markets.
While we wait for answers to all the questions, we all need to be patient, calm and, if possible, optimistic. Be ready to take advantage of any new opportunities which might arise, as well as preparing for possible difficulties. Perhaps SMEs are in a better position than larger businesses, as they can adapt and change more quickly. And meanwhile, we all need to stay focused on the core principles of good business and work activities while we ride out any storms.
All in all, we are where we are. It is of no use wishing we were somewhere else and that it wouldn’t be like this if the result had gone the other way. It didn’t and nobody has any influence to change it. So accept that the game has changed and respond actively to the new situation. Your success depends upon being successful in the current and future circumstances.
So keep calm and carry on…
If you think you might benefit from some advice from an experienced business mentor at this uncertain time, do give us a call to discuss your situation and find out how we can help. Call us on 0203 384 0276 or contact us online.