David Birchall explains why and what in his opinion, small and medium sized business should be doing after Brexit. Business owners must start to take actions now to prepare for what may come, but don’t panic!.
The UK’s exit from the European Union finally came to pass following the referendum. Since then a certain amount of Panic has hit the Stock Markets and Currency Exchange Rates with the British Pound falling against a number of major currencies and boy has the National and International Press had a field day with all the Scaremongering. The currency has taken a bit of a hit and stocks have been having a bumpy ride with downturns and upturns.
Yes, the UK has voted to leave the EU, but it will take two years to extract itself and in the meantime it is still a full member of the Union with little or nothing changing. In order to start that process the UK must write informing the Commission that it wants to leave under article 50 and it is only then that the process can begin.
Frankly, the currency exchange rates were fueled by traders punting and nothing else. Whenever you get uncertainty brokers begin to move cash and stocks taking advantage of even small falls in value to take a quick buck and to bed and breakfast stocks. Just look at the UK’s economy compared to others and there is little to worry about.
Yes, change is afoot, and whether the UK remains a member of the EU or not, it is set for a bit of a rough time if it leaves, and potentially an even rougher time if it remains in the EU. Why, because the Euro will go through more turmoil prolonging downturns in the European Single Market with a number of member states having problems with their finances.
The British economy is in good shape so it can weather any storms that may come its way and the Bank of England has put plans in place to intervene where necessary.
In fact, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne despite warning of more austerity and a punishing budget if the UK voted to come out, has had to retract that statement and admit the economy will go through difficulties but is well placed to weather them.
A significant number of large Companies are using Brexit to cover bad news about jobs in their businesses. For example, Sage CEO Stephen Kelly said in Business Insider UK: “I’ve been disappointed with the complete vacuum of political leadership and I’ve been disappointed with opportunistic business leaders that use Brexit as an excuse”. He goes on to say “that business leaders are using Britain’s vote to leave the European Union as an “excuse” to cover bad news or job cuts that would have been made anyway.”
Brexit and small and medium businesses in the UK
Birchall said: “The way some large companies are using Brexit as a scapegoat for the plans they had already made and were going to tell us about anyway is not helping markets or currencies, and what they have done and continue to do is blame other events for their own planning to reduce the negative impact on their businesses and consequently any adverse reaction to product or services sales”.
There are challenges, but challenges would have been there if the UK had remained as part of the EU. As for British Businesses, the multi-nationals can look after themselves as usual and that is what is seen now. Once the dust settles and wider horizons open up, trade will improve for UK businesses.
There is much posturing, chest beating and veiled threats coming from certain officials in the EU mainly to exact some anger but also to frighten other existing member states from enacting the same process that Britain has been through. Many are disgruntled at the failure of the EU to change.
But although a union, you can be assured that the member states still value self-interest and push it for optimum benefits and are aware that collectively the EU sell more to the UK than the UK sells to the EU.
Germany alone sells a significant amount to the UK, so its vehicle manufacturers and supply chain will not want to damage its trading situations and that goes for others. Yes, officials are angry at the moment but that is natural, but in all honesty if the Power Brokers in the EU had listened to the Brits on a number of occasions rather than slapping the UK back and down, then the EU would not be in this position.
In respect of smaller companies, much depends on the amount of trade a company does with the EU, but the remaining member states will want to foster self interest in trading negotiations with the UK. So, there should be little change apart from some smallish tariffs as the UK already has its goods and services compliant with all the EU’s regulations and so on.
In fact, a recent Civil Service review on being in or out has shown that once the process unfolds and things settle there will be little difference in the UK’s trading with the EU and the rest of the world than there would have been if the UK stayed in. This information was given out in an interview on the BBC’s Newsnight programme recently and it’s easy to understand why it was not released for general consumption prior to, or during the referendum and is still only spoken of quietly in certain informed quarters.
Birchall went on to say: “It would definitely be in the interests of all British Businesses to make sure that they STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD so that the rest of the world can see them among all the noise on the Internet. Small and Medium businesses should now be looking to mitigate any unforeseen downturns in their own markets and doing everything they can to raise their Brands, Profiles, Status and Authority in their areas of trading.”
In any downturn it is sound business practice to have more control in the markets a business already serves and to try to find new markets, perhaps by drilling down in to the different existing sector segments that may now offer opportunities hitherto unnoticed.
The chances are that there might not be much of a downturn – remember no one knows what will happen – this has never been done before.
Britain traded with the rest of the world including Europe before it joined them as a member state, and it will trade with the rest of the world and the EU again. Already none EU countries are making representations for discussions over trade agreements including China and India. A couple of countries have offered top Trade Negotiators to help the UK, and its future outside the EU is slowly beginning to look very positive. Even Theresa May the New Prime Minister of the UK is now forecasting an upbeat future outside the EU, having been a remain voter previously,and it’s all ahead with Brexit.
Birchall said: “That even if a UK business does not export, that business will have to raise its profile. In the short term, potential customers will be more circumspect about who they deal with and they will want to feel assured that they are interacting with quality suppliers while all the disruption is going on. If businesses are serious about growing their markets and profits, then they have to respond by announcing and proving they are really good at what they do and have the marketing wherewithal to do that.”
Business owners and key personnel must present themselves as the Experts, Specialists and Authorities in respective fields of operations. In today’s wired world it is so important that Businesses are seen and recognized as leaders if these firms are to gain an advantage over the competition. And this applies whether business to business or business to consumer.
Birchall’s final comment on the matter was: “Be positive and make sure the business is able to – Stand Out from The Crowd!”
Company Name: Artemis Media
Contact Person: David Birchall
Phone: +44 07944 524350