We’re currently experiencing the calm before the storm. Last year, the UK voted (by a slim margin)to leave the European Union. Article 50 has been triggered and now we’re waiting for negotiations to begin.
In a year, perhaps, we may begin to understand exactly what the consequences of leaving the EU are. Businesses can begin to look at extra costs affecting them, the loss or gain of markets where they can sell their products and extra processes or forms needed to access previously easy trade in the European Single Market. There will even be issues of staffing to address as citizens of EU states may not keep the right to remain working in the country.
For now, however, businesses cannot make specific plans and can only speculate about the future. This doesn’t mean that a lot of preparation is being done behind the scenes, however. Here are some ways you can begin to get ready to Brexit-proof your business.
It’s hard to make plans unless you understand the risks involved. Try to list the risks to your business post-Brexit, both in a worst cast (hard Brexit) and best case (soft Brexit). Which of your assets stands to be most affected? If you mostly export your goods, your income stream stands to be most harmed. On the other hand, if a lot of your workforce is from Europe, you must prepare to lose access to their skills and labour.
Develop a Post-Brexit Plan
You’ll know from your preparation above where Brexit will likely harm your business the most. Now you can look for ways to compensate for that. In the above two examples, you can look for new markets to sell your products in. Consider what countries have a similar profile to the EU you began to sell in: this could be an opportunity to repeat your early success.
If you’re going to lose key expertise, start courting replacements soon. Consider offering entry level positions with scope for development to graduates with a relevant background.
You’re likely going to have to restructure to an extent to enact these plans. It’s worth calling on interim management specialists to help you get there. Chris Williams says “Interim commercial leaders are uniquely positioned to support organisations during change”, and specialist recruiters like Savannah Interim can get you the people you need to help you change course.