Brexit – What should YOU be doing, while the politicians wrangle?
Whether it’s No Deal, Blind or something else entirely when it gets here, Brexit and the furore around it could have a major impact on businesses over the next 12 months. What should you be doing NOW to prepare? Watch this to find out…
Hi, and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax, and to help your business grow.
Now, today I’m coming to you from the Calais Terminal of Eurotunnel. We’re on our way back from our most recent travels and are waiting for our train through the Tunnel. While we’ve been away, there’s been a growing amount of media coverage on the potential of a ‘no-deal Brexit’. Now, unless you’ve been hiding under a stone for the last week or so, I’m sure you’re fully aware of all of the talk around what could happen.
Mark Carney evidently spent three hours telling the Cabinet in the last couple of days just how awful everything could be, saying it could be more catastrophic than the financial crisis of 10 years ago. There’s also been talk about credit card fees going up, about it being more difficult to drive abroad, about data roaming charges, and all sorts of travel issues and food shortages.
Now, we don’t know at this stage what the reality is going to be, but we really need to start planning for it. It would be remiss of us, as your Accountants, not to start warning you about things that you can be doing to protect your business in case these problems occur.
We’re six months away from Brexit at the moment, we’re just coming up to the end of September, and, obviously, Brexit D-day is the 29th of March, 2019.
But, the reality is that things are already starting to change.
- We’ve been talking to some people whilst we’ve been travelling who won’t be in Europe. They’re UK citizens, who’ve said they won’t be in Europe at the end of March because they can’t guarantee they’re going to be able to get back.
- We’ve also been talking to some people who run chalets who say that they’re wary that they’re not going to get their bookings for next season.
- And, a lot of the chalet operators and the ski resorts are concerned what will happen if a lot of the UK travellers don’t go next winter.
It could have a massive impact. Obviously, standing where I am right now, at Eurotunnel, potentially going to see a massive difference for them as well.
So, what can you do?
Well, if you already trade with Europe then there are serious things that you need to consider. That needs to be probably a conversation between us and you if you’re importing or exporting. You need to be thinking about things like currency fluctuations, changes in your delivery cycle and your delivery lead times. So, those are very specific.
But, if you’re not actually dealing directly with Europe there are also implications potentially for you as well.
Whether you’re business to business, or business to consumer, it’s very likely that if nothing else, purely the decision making process is going to take longer.
We’re already seeing people very worried about what’s going to happen. And, in the next six months, that’s only going to get worse. So, we need to be making sure that you’re protecting yourselves as much as possible.
That’s things like making sure that you stay, as a business, you stay lean and able to respond. It’s making sure that you have as much as possible in place to make sure that you can cope if things do take longer to come through. So, you gain a war-chest, put some money away now, and each month between now and Brexit to make sure that if decisions lengthen between now and March, and then beyond as we start to feel the implications, then you should actually be able to survive.
A lot of our clients saw a massive impact of GDPR, and the time that that took out of other people’s days. We saw a lot of clients actually suffering as a result of GDPR, the amount of time it took them to implement it, and also the impact of people being scared of what they should be doing, and not making decisions. If you amplify that by the impact of Brexit, and then adjust the amount of media attention Brexit’s already getting, then that’s going to have a significant impact on business, and just on people’s confidence.
It’s this confidence that’s going to have the biggest impact, whether people actually feel the difference in their pocket or not, they’re going to be wary of feeling that.
So, if you’re in a business where you’re hoping that people are going to make significant contribution, or decision to spend a significant amount, that may not happen. You may need to find ways of breaking those big amounts down, ways of being more responsive, and sort of doing parts of projects potentially.
But, whatever you do, you need to be thinking about that from now.
I know that’s really negative, and I am very aware of the irony of me standing here today, and saying, you know confidence is going to go, don’t be confident, but it would be, as I said earlier, remiss of us not to make you aware of that, and not to be talking about this right now.
It may all turn out exactly the same as the millennium bug for those of you who remember it, Y2K, which, actually, was a bit of a damp squib.
We’re really hopeful that there is a deal and that everything gets sorted out, but, we need to make sure that we’re planning for the worst and hoping for the best. We will, obviously, keep you posted. There’s going to be so much coming out in the media about developments, and about, you know, one party saying one thing, one group saying another. Whether you voted Remain, or you voted to Leave, we are going to see the implications and we need to make sure as business owners and employers that we’re responsible and that we’re making sure that we’re doing everything that we can to protect our businesses.
So, those are some thought starters really, and, as I say, we’ll be in touch again soon and to give you some more information. If you’ve got any questions do please get in touch and we’ll do everything we can to give you the right advice. Thanks very much, and I’ll see you soon!
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