Brexit and SME’s
With a ‘hard’ Brexit still very much a possibility what does it really mean for your business? Unfortunately there is no definitive answer yet but at ReganStein we have identified potential issues that companies face as Brexit moves forward and have developed some tips on how to minimise a negative impact on your company.
As it stands Theresa May is stating that it will be a hard Brexit. How this will affect your business? While that is still unclear there are some outcomes that are more likely than others.
- Exchange rate – Imports will become cheaper, but exports will become more expensive for Irish businesses’ that move goods in and out of the UK. To put this into context, on average Irish business export approximately 44% of their goods to UK compared to 11% by foreign owned companies.
- Visas – Irish corporations will likely need to consider the need for visas for staff that travel to the UK for business. As it stands any UK citizen currently employed in Ireland, or anywhere in EU for that matter, will be allowed stay based on a preliminary draft agreement between the EU and the UK.
- Data Protection – Once the UK has left the EU, there will be no free movement of personal data between the UK and the remaining EEA States. It is unclear what type of data protection regime the UK will decide to adopt, and it could be an opportunity for the UK to adopt a lighter regulatory regime.
- Expansion – Booming companies in the SME sector generally try to expand their business further within their own country but may also look at moving into an international market. For Irish business the UK was usually a viable option as it was nearby and has similar regulations to Ireland. With an imminent Brexit there has been a slowdown in SME’s making this jump across to the UK.
So, what measures can you adopt to best deal with Brexit within your SME?
- Leader Selection: Ensure you give Brexit the appropriate management attention. Make a member of your management team accountable for overseeing your company’s response but ensure they are fully supported with the right tools and information at their disposal to make the best decisions.
- Communicate widely and often: Communicate your response to Brexit broadly, including both leadership and the wider organisation, reassuring them and ensuring the organisation continues operate “business as usual”.
- Use information and resources available: This step especially applies to SME’s as creating and developing your own practices from scratch can be time consuming and expensive. There are plenty of online resources available for you to use in order to minimise financial and time expenditure. If your needs are more intricate there are consultancy firms who can provide external specialist support.
- Assess impact: Understand the likely scenarios and understand their impact on the functioning of your business (supply chain, markets, workforce, regulation, pricing, operating model, systems, data, tax etc.). Don’t speculate on what could happen, keep up to date on developing circumstances and plan accordingly.
- Evolve strategies: Examine your existing strategies and where possible develop these so that they are suitable to deal with Brexit.
- Opportunities: It is not all doom and gloom despite what media may suggest. Look for opportunities for you to improve and expand your business. Through regulation and market changes amongst other factors you may find a gap in the environment appearing.
- Establish your position: Determine where you would like your business to be once events have commenced. This allows you measure how successful your strategies were.
- Be Proactive: Don’t be reactive. Plan realistically and effectively in order to ensure that whatever happens with Brexit that you are prepared. If you need specialist help contact us.
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