March 2017 was the date we declared we were going to exit from the EU. This set the deadline for our national drawbridge to be raised on the rest of Europe at the 29 March 2019. This is the first time we have separated ourselves from our largest trading partner since we joined the Common Market – the precursor to the EU – 1 January 1973.
It is useful, when considering the effective strategies we could employ to weather the changes that this process will likely create, to visualise the exit as running a marathon.
The comparison may seem to be a little left-field but bear with us.
If you have ever participated in a marathon you will have embarked on a fairly rigorous training program prior to running the race. In like manner, it may be prudent if you are running a business to get into shape before the Brexit transition starts next year. Whatever the outcome, a deal or no-deal conclusion, change will be upon us, and until we get used to the new paradigm, there will be a possible dip in economic activity.
We are all holding our breath, waiting for the politicians to reach an agreement, and hopeful that the outcome will lead to a positive increase in our international trading status with the rest of the world.
However, there is work we could engage in now that will prepare us in a positive way for whatever variety of Brexit is secured. In short, we could get into training, only this time to get financially fit, not race fit.
There are no downsides to this process. Even if there is a smooth Brexit you will be match fit and ready to hit the ground running, ready to take advantage of businesses opportunities as they become available.
At the very least businesses could:
- Create an impact assessment if they import or export goods from and to the EU, and
- Undertake a comprehensive balance sheet review. This would involve converting unused assets into cash and shortening the time it takes your business to transform sales into money in the bank.
We would request that all our readers seriously consider these options, unless they are already ahead of the game. We would be delighted to help.