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Is Your Business Brexit Ready

By Jon Sawyer on 20/01/2017 - 0 Comments

Feedback from ICON clients in the UK indicate that most are determined to achieve an exit from the EU that enables our economy and communities to prosper. For small businesses, it is likely that there will be no dramatic change for at least the next two years as we remain a paid-up member and partner of the EU. The most significant impact in the short term will result from short term movements in the value of the pound.

Trade agreements will remain in place until after Article 50 is triggered and over the couple of years it takes for a new deal to be negotiated. There is undoubtedly going to be a significant amount of change over the next few years in all markets and so now a good time to get your business Brexit ready.

More than half of SME’s (56%) say they have felt no impact on levels of business from the UK’s decision to leave the EU, according to the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management across a range of sectors and regions. Regionally, business in London felt the most affected by Brexit with 46% responding that they had seen an impact on their business as a result of Brexit. This is compared with the North East 20% and East Anglia 12% and Wales 12%.

For those that had felt an impact on their business, 40% had seen an improvement.

The perceived impact of Brexit to date is much divided. The main focus for business owners should be in getting their companies into a good shape in preparation for the change to come. How can you do this?

Get the basics in order

Based on the fact that nothing much is going to change quickly, the most important position to adopt is to get your business basics in place with your suppliers and clients. Based on movements in the value of the pound, this may now be the best time to review if this will affect the price of any supplies, or your end product, and speak to an accountant if you need to revise financial projections as a result.

New opportunities at home

Time to review all the opportunities for you to strengthen your positon with existing clients. This may mean developing client programmes to increase volumes for existing and new product lines. It may also require looking outside of the existing customer base to expand your client portfolio.

New opportunities abroad

You could say, there's never been a better time to go global. Trade agreements are still in place with all 27 EU states and, as the business secretary has confirmed, many countries including the new administration in the US have been in touch to talk about new business deals. Advantages of a weak pound give exporters a distinct advantage. It may now be time to look at export markets.

Whatever happens, it is important to build resilience into your company – and make sure you get your business Brexit ready. 

Contact your local ICON advisor for a free chat on how to get this to happen.

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