Whilst a lot of uncertainty exists around exactly what Brexit will mean for the trading landscape, one way or another, businesses will have to deal with a new set of circumstances in the years ahead. Companies will need to take a strategic approach to their business and plan ahead to ensure that they maximise opportunities as well as mitigate risks and vulnerabilities arising from Brexit. Building strong leadership and management will be crucial to provide the vision and conviction required to navigate through unchartered waters.
Each business will face different challenges and the opportunities and threats of Brexit will be unique to each one. Preparing now for what might lie ahead and considering the implications of Brexit for different scenarios will help ensure that you are ready to take action and quickly adapt to the evolving situation. A change in your business strategy could include anything from diversifying your supply chain, targeting new international markets or innovating your offer to create a competitive advantage.
Possible Opportunities and Challenges
Planning for risks and uncertainty
Identifying risks and starting contingency planning now will make it easier to put plans in place once the details of the final deal are available. Businesses should consider having someone in place that is responsible for managing this and the impact on the organisation. This will be critical to steer the business through this period of uncertainty. This role could fall to the business owner if you are a small business or in a larger business a senior manager or HR professional who has decision making authority and is widely known in the organisation.
Change in market opportunities
Brexit could mean emerging and alternative markets for export opportunities in international markets and/or reduced competitiveness in EU markets. To prepare for this changing situation, you should monitor the business environment and identify the potential to maximise opportunities and diversify markets. It is important to gain a greater understanding of your current competition now and start developing differentiated or strengthen existing offers and look to where you can reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
The potential impact of Brexit across the business could see increased pressure on margins. Companies can look to innovate, increase effectiveness and reduce costs out of their production process to improve efficiencies in order to maintain or even increase profitability. This is one of the measures a business can take to plan against the potentially challenging impacts of Brexit but makes perfect business sense, irrespective of Brexit.
Supply chain agility
Depending on the Brexit deal reached, businesses must ensure they are able to react quickly to any cost-changes within the supply chain and potential delays that could impact flow of supplies. Even businesses that do not directly import from the EU may find critical suppliers are adversely affected. It is important to understand any potential vulnerabilities in your supply chain to ensure your business operations are not impacted. Audit supplier contracts and relationships to clearly understand your supplier base and identify critical areas that may be vulnerable in light of Brexit changes. Identify options to strengthen these or consider diversifying suppliers to mitigate risks.
TO DO LIST: Preparing for a possible No Deal
- Sign up to the Business Wales Newsletter
- Visit Welsh Government’s Preparing Wales website
- Register to get EU Exit updates from HMRC
- Stay up to date with Health and Safety Executive information
- Search for new contracts and advertise your services on the Sell2Wales website
If you import or export
- Watch HMRC’s hour long webinar about 5 key areas UK businesses must be aware of to keep trading goods when the UK leaves the EU
- Review UK Government’s publications on Trading with the EU
- If you are an importer or exporter you must have an Economic Registration and Identification (EORI) number to continue to trade with the EU. If you don’t already have yours, you can get an EORI number on GOV.UK. Having an EORI number is just the first step to continue to import or export. Follow these import and export processes to trade with EU and non-EU countries.
If you transfer personal data
- Follow the Information Commissioner’s Office’s ‘6 steps to take’
- Visit using personal data after Brexit
If you provide services or operate in the EU
If you employ EU citizens
- Support your EU staff to access the required documentation
- Consider up skilling your workforce – see the Skills Gateway support
If you sell manufactured goods
If you are involved with intellectual property or copyrights
- Comply with changes to intellectual property
UK Government’s full list of EU exit information for businesses can be accessed here.
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