Stop using Brexit as an excuse for poor business

Public Sector Contracts for SMEs – should you or shouldn’t you?
2nd May 2018
The Modern CFO in the Digital Age
17th September 2018

Stop using Brexit as an excuse for poor business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With so much negativity around Brexit, it is no wonder business owners are feeling cautious.

But let’s look at the reality.

Business leaders can only plan based on facts. At the end of the day, no one knows what the end result will be – the government doesn’t know and neither do the experts. How can a company base any decisions on an unknown outcome? In effect, businesses have two choices. Either bosses sit and wait to see what happens or get a grip and take decisive action to take charge of their own future.

Business leaders work best when they only worry about what they can control. For most businesses in the UK there isn’t going to be a point in time where there is going to be a big step change when Brexit becomes reality. All that’s happening right now is it’s causing a distraction, and in the worst case an excuse.

Really, a business is either growing or dying. There is no such thing as the “status quo.” The biggest risk of the run up to Brexit is that some businesses may use it to justify being in ‘status quo’. If they think that the economy is stagnant, then its ok for them to be the same and just ‘weather the storm’. But this mindset will have a negative affect the company.

A leaders behaviour, attitudes and decisions will always be reflected throughout the business, this creates the culture of a company. A negative and “play it safe” leader inhibited by Brexit will break confidence as the staff will pick up on it and use it as an excuse for not hitting targets, never mind demotivate everyone.

So here are a few tips to help through this uncertain time:

1 – Lead from top: Have a plan and communicate this through the business and follow it through. Good leaders move forward quickly and make fast decisions. Bad leaders procrastinate and can’t move forward.

2 – Recruit intelligently: The recruitment pool is going to be different. Retail is being hit hard again but this isn’t a direct result of Brexit.  The talent will have different skill sets so be careful that they match your needs. Test them first as that won’t lie.

3 – Retain your staff: Make sure existing staff feel valued and talk to them about their development and satisfaction levels. Make sure their needs are being met.

4 – Sales protection: Don’t rely on your actual sales figures as these are an indication of what has happened not what is going to happen. Look at your new accounts, new contacts, new markets, new meetings, prospects you are talking to, so you find out early whether adjustments need to be made.

5 – Don’t fear investment: Don’t hold back on investment and expansion decisions. Don’t stop investing in resources and employees. Investment will give you foundation for growth and the chance to overtake competitors who are holding back. Plan it well with your FD so that you can stay well ahead of the game.

6 – Plan for the future: Where do you want to be in five years? How will you get there? Don’t get hung up on the short term – make sure you plan as this will help all employees be positive and involved in the growth of the business.

If you would like to discuss this topic with us from a financial perspective for your business growth, please contact Stuart Smith at Watersmiths on 07785 556 450.