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18-July-2

5 ways to protect your small business against Brexit

Brexit will have a big impact on many small businesses – but you can lessen the effect by following these simple tips…

Whether you voted Leave or Remain, the one thing you can expect from the Brexit vote is uncertainty. With little information as to what the negotiations will actually mean for small businesses, many business owners are starting to panic.

We aim to quell a few fears and get you ready for Brexit.

1. Keep calm and carry on
Brits are renowned for their stiff upper lips and while the first response for many businesses was to panic, making rash decisions based on rumour and speculation will be more damaging to your future than the reality of leaving the EU. Brexit will no doubt impact the future of your business but better to move cautiously and one step at a time rather than make knee-jerk reactions.

The key now is to stay calm. Not only will this help with the day-to-day running of your business, but it’ll also show clients and customers that you can handle whatever’s coming. And, we’ve got at least two years of EU membership ahead of us – plenty of time to get your business ready for Brexit.

If any of your customers are panicking, send them an email to reassure them that it’ll be business as usual and that you’re taking all measures possible to keep providing the service you always have.

2. Broaden recruitment pool
One of the big issues that many small businesses could face after Brexit – and even before we leave – is the reduction in the available workforce.

There will be a reduction of affordable EU workers coming in after we leave the EU and many that are already here are considering returning back to their European homes.

This has led some employers to take action to widen their recruitment channels, according to research from the CIPD and National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Such employers are looking to boost employment from different groups in the labour market while also raising pay in response to the forthcoming migration restrictions.

3. Spread the risk
While we’re suggesting you don’t panic, there will be changes coming so it’s worth doing all you can to reduce the risk to your business.

This is especially important if you’re reliant on a single large order or contract for the bulk of your business, or if you conduct a lot of business with companies that are based in the EU.

It could be time to look for other customers to help spread the risk a bit – especially if you can find UK-based business.

4. Crack down on late payment
During times of uncertainty it always pays to make sure that you have a good cash flow. This will help mitigate any slumps in business, lost contracts or increases in costs.

To do this, it’s worth putting in place a solid and robust late payments system. If you’ve got customers that have not paid for a considerable time, now could be the time to look into bringing in outside help to get the payments through.

5. Look at new horizons
Brexit could bring with it new opportunities. While you could be losing workers and business from the EU, it could also open new doors in other countries as new trade deals are organised.

Keep an eye on what’s happening and which countries the UK will be looking to do business with in the future and see if there’s anything you can offer these markets.