Time to Make Brexit Contingency Plans

Daily news bulletins on the subject keep reminding us that Brexit Day is getting nearer. While you may have no idea how it will ultimately impact your own business, one thing is clear. You need to start making Brexit contingency plans now.

While the politicians argue, here in the real world there is still no clarity about how the movement of people and goods will be affected.

It’s likely that during this period of uncertainty there will be rising pressure on the availability of good quality labour and on the cost of raw materials.

The hospitality and care sectors are already seeing the impact of a reduction in supply in the labour market. Here on the Fylde Coast we have a larger than average concentration of both industries, due to our strong tourism sector and the large retirement population on the coast. Manufacturing businesses will also be affected.

What should your Brexit Contingency Plans look at?

Start by looking at your business as a whole and risk assessing major areas like purchasing, sales and staffing. Consider all possible outcomes of Brexit and what those outcomes could mean to you and your business.

Having done this, put your Brexit Contingency Plans together, which review each of those areas.

Purchasing: Are you buying materials and services from abroad? Research and replace foreign vendors with a UK based replacement where possible, to avoid potential import tariffs.

There are likely to be complications around transferring to new suppliers, so include a review of how this process will be managed and what impact it might have.

Sales: The weaker value of Sterling offers opportunities to UK businesses.

There’s an opportunity within the tourism sector as UK destinations remain increasingly attractive to overseas travellers. Plan and deliver campaigns to promote your UK based hospitality business to clients with Dollars and Euros to spend.

In the manufacturing sector there is clearly an export opportunity – particularly for products which are made from UK-sourced materials and components.

Staffing: Does your business rely on a European workforce? If so, identify how much ‘flight risk’ there is in key roles and what the impact may be if those personnel were to leave. How would you fill those roles should they become vacant?

If your business has a strong reliance on the employment of EU nationals it would be prudent to ensure that you have a strong contingency plan in place as soon as possible.

Make sure that job descriptions are updated and ready to be used. Look at your costings to see what impact increased labour costs would have. Be ready to act swiftly should you need to.

Be Brexit ready

It makes sense to know your business, to have contingency plans ready, and be ready to implement them effectively when the outcomes of the Brexit negotiation process become clear.

The businesses  that do this will be the ones to win.

Would you like assistance with business planning or the financial implications of Brexit on your business? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Jones Harris for a no obligation chat.

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