Whether or not you expected Brexit to go through on Boris’s Halloween promise, the fact is that businesses would be faced with a similar level of uncertainty if the deal had gone through then, if it goes through in early 2020, or if we end up with the dreaded no-deal. New decade, new rules.
One thing that is becoming evident is that business confidence has slumped to its lowest level in the past 10 years. This is according to the latest Institute of Chartered Accounts (ICAEW) “Business Confidence Monitor,” whose findings show a steep drop compared to three months ago. Understandably, this negativity is largely due to everyone’s concerns over Brexit, coupled with the current political instability here in the UK, plus global factors further afield such as the trade situation between the US and China.
No one actually knows how things will pan out, but what we are acutely aware of is that businesses need to be prepared for a potentially rough ride. We’re not saying that things definitely will be tough, but it makes perfect sense to prepare for a worst-case scenario. After all, good business management encompasses many of the issues that could arise – such as cash flow issues, ensuring systems are working at their optimum efficiency and generally staying ahead of the game.
What you can do to protect your business now
It’s essential that you prepare your business for the tough times that could be facing you from 2020 onwards. Here are some tips, but if you’d like a more tailored review of your business practices and the ways in which you can improve, click the green button for a complimentary, no strings chat and our business development team will happily give you some personalised strategic advice.
1. Keep a cash buffer
Think about where you’ll get cash if you need extra funds. Imagine, for example, if your sales are affected by the uncertainties of Brexit, or your customers can’t pay you. We can offer various options to help.
2. Register for simplified import procedures
If this applies to your business, register now! We can help you with strategies such as reviewing your VAT terms so that you don’t have to settle your VAT and duty payments on imports, meaning your cash flow will improve.
3. Get to know MOSS
The “mini one stop shop” (MOSS) will affect the way sales of digital services to the EU are dealt with for VAT purposes. We’ll tell you more about this nearer the time.
4. Review your contracts
You’ll need to ensure that contracts and international T&Cs reflect any relevant changes after Brexit, so it’s worth taking a look at them now.
5. Explore new markets
New trade agreements are being discussed at the highest levels. With the possibility of ongoing trade with European markets being affected, this is an excellent time to research new client bases.
6. Forecast properly
Keeping a regular eye on your business forecasts allows you to tweak your business plan according to the highs and lows that will naturally follow. This is exactly why we hold review meetings with many clients on a quarterly basis – it allows us to address any potential issues before they become problematic. Good planning is simply good sense.
7. Know your workforce
Be aware of any members of your team who may be affected by Brexit. Do workers from overseas know the steps to take to register as an EU citizen working in the UK? Think about the skills and labour your business will need over the next few years and consider how you’ll ensure you have the best staff for the job. Our HR department would be happy to advise you on any grey areas.
These are just a few of the issues you need to consider. The list of things you can do to prepare goes on, so it’s definitely in your best interests to find out how your industry – and your business in particular, may be affected.
We’re always on hand to help you work more efficiently, so shout if you need us, and our award-winning team will be happy to step in with advice, guidance and a nice cup of English tea.