Sarah Ludford, business growth advisor, GC Business Growth Hub
There has been a change in government language today as we arrive at the 100 days until Brexit deadline. The British Government is activating its full ‘no deal’ operational plans and the European Commission has also announced today that it is implementing ‘no deal scenario’ planning for the UK.
So, with only 100 days to go, the heads of the five biggest UK lobbying groups have spoken of their alarm and fear that businesses simply do not have the time to deploy their Brexit contingency plans, if indeed they have a plan at all.
That’s fair comment, if your business has a fully integrated JIT component system or if your business has a client base that intends to detach from UK supply chains under the cloud of Brexit.
But as a small business, it absolutely isn’t too late to make changes to your business planning. That is one of the primary commercial advantages that a small business has. An SME isn’t restricted by cumbersome bureaucracy that larger businesses need to have in place to function. It can alter its business plan, market and processes far quicker, more economically and more efficiently than a larger competitor.
This is the time to make sure that your planning it up to spec. This is the time to consider each strand of your business and see where the impacts are going to be. And trust us when we say, you WILL be affected. You may not think that Brexit will impact your business, but there will be change.
Here are just some of the considerations you and your teams need to be making now:
Pricing: Some, or all, of the products that you sell will originate from outside of the EU. The service time that your company bills for may be being provided by a non-EU member of your team. The support services that your company receives (accounting, IT, consultancy) may be being hosted or provided for by an EU-based business. So, review your supply chain and see what pricing may be impacted. How is that going to filter through your value chain? Can you still offer your goods and services at the price you are charging now?
Secure your workforce: Many small businesses rely on the skills of non-UK nationals. This is the time to review the workforce and communicate with them to ensure they know about registering their residential status.
Changes in export documentation: Whilst all the finer details have not yet been released, speaking with your freight company, courier or reviewing the .GOV site will give you some insight. Under a no deal Brexit, the UK will be treated as a Third Country when exporting to the EU and the majority of other countries. This will mean a different way of administering to the goods, parcels and packages you send outside of the UK. Check out the details now, and don’t leave it until the end of March.
And the reward for planning? There is a good chance that your competitors aren’t – so this is your chance to stay ahead and take the lead. It’s not too late to plan and it isn’t too late to get some sound advice.
These three questions and more are available on the 10 no regret actions document on the GC Business Growth Hub’s Brexit Toolkit.
And there is plenty of information, all categorised, that can help with your planning a on our dedicated Brexit page - review the list and check what impacts are going to affect your business.
The GC Business Growth Hub also has a team of advisors and Brexit resources you can tap into so why wait? Just fill out the form below to get the latest Brexit advice from a dedicated, knowledgeable advisor.