The United Kingdom is at a pivotal moment in its recent history, and the entire situation can be defined in one simple word: Brexit.
On the plus side, being in the European Union makes it part of a larger community where the country can get access to other economies, work together as a group on defence and laws, and move freely around the continent. On the downside, as the EU fortunes go, so does the UK. This means that even if the UK has a strong economy other in the EU who have weaker economies will drag down the UK.
A referendum was held on June 23, 2016, and a vote taken. By a slim margin, voters decided to leave the EU. From the very beginning, when this situation was announced, there was uncertainty about whether the UK really wants to do this, and it has continued until today.
The UK business community has been in constant limbo about how to plan in these uncertain times. However, there are some things that every UK business can do regardless as to what happens with the UK and whether they do leave the EU or remain in it.
Be Prepared for an Upheaval
When Brexit occurs, the laws and legal framework that currently exists between the UK and the EU countries will have to be completely untangled. Regulations will have to be rewritten as well, and no one is sure exactly what will happen. What is sure however is that there will be a long period of uncertainty with many shifting approaches to getting things running smoothly in this new world.
For businesses, this will likely mean lots of new laws and regulations to consider, and this means that you will need ensure that you are preparing your business for Brexit. This will certainly cause many businesses to have challenges, particularly if these businesses are currently dependent on the EU for its revenue or supply chains.
Finance and Banking
For small businesses, affordable, sustainable finance underpins growth. Companies in the UK have had the benefit of looking across borders for the best financing rates. This will change significantly. Companies need to work closely with business-friendly banking institutions to make sure they have business bank accounts that are meeting their business’ needs.
The UK has a chronic shortage of workers in many industries that are now being supplied by workers from other EU countries who can move freely in and out of the UK.
Once Brexit occurs this will no longer be the case, and if your industry depends on the foreign UK workers you might have a shortage and your labour costs might go up. You should look for alternative sources for workers or consider automating to lessen the need for workers.
If your business depends on parts of the EU for its current supply chain, you are receiving benefits from being in the EU that will go away once the UK has left. The specifics of how this will affect your business needs to be studied carefully, and you should look to set up new supply chains or seek terms equal to the ones you have now with suppliers.
Do not wait for Brexit to figure out this vital component of your business.
Regardless of which side of the Brexit debate you are on all businesses are going to be affected. Make sure you are taking steps to keep your business prepared.