So the nation has voted and now we have clarity on an issue that has dominated Europe for the last three years, Brexit…or do we?
The problem we have right now is that we have to deliver Brexit and we are in uncharted territory — no country has ever left the European Union. (EU)
The real issue here is that nobody actually understands what “leaving” will look like, let alone how it will affect the physical day-today-operation of the country and of course, the economy.
What about the transportation of goods?
How is it going to affect those people who live here, but are from other EU countries?
What are the likely trade deals that can be secured with other countries?
These are just three questions that need answering and no matter what the manifestos tell us, we have to move from the promise to reality.
So in simple terms, we have clarity on the one hand, with a firm commitment to delivering Brexit, but a lack of clarity as to how in practice, it will affect us all.
I talk about some of the business issues relating to business in my article “Brexit Blues And Impacts on Businesses in the UK” and we are in the same position with regard to the overall clarity of what Brexit really means when we look at the world of business.
I started the expansion of my technology and staffing business with an aggressive expansion into Europe and at the time it was fraught with legislative and currency restrictions and problems.
Wherever possible I would invoice companies and pay contractors in the same currency, so that meant paying an engineer working in France, in the then French Francs, just as you would do the same in The Netherlands with Dutch Guilders.
But this was not always possible and there were occasions when you would have to invoice in one currency and pay in another.
The effects of cross currency conversion can prove favorable and in some cases disastrous.
Currencies were exchanged on the day of the transaction and of course, there could be positive or negative results depending on the strength of the currency.
The introduction of the Euro solved these issues as we now had a single benchmark (currency wise) of doing business with EU member states.
For me, it is vital that we do not lose the ability to maintain good trading relations with our European partners (as they are right now) and any deal regarding Brexit must protect these relations and that is why I was in total opposition to a “No Deal Brexit.”
If you are in business right now and have been over the last three years then my heart goes out to you — every business has in some way had to face the harsh reality of the Brexit uncertainty.
I know companies that have set up corporations in other countries such as Ireland, to prepare for all Brexit eventualities and unfortunately strategy-wise, they had no option.
Even though the adoption of the Euro made life easier for my business, the time leading up to that adoption was extremely uncertain and it led to many “what-if” discussions and some customers curtailed their activities until there was more certainty, which meant fewer sales for companies like mine.
But here are three key points to take on board and keep you focussed:
- We will still continue to do business with our European Allies and although we are not clear as to exactly how that will look, there is far too much inter-dependency for trade deals to collapse or be vastly altered to restrict business.
- There will be exciting new trading opportunities opening up around the world and especially with the USA. I have lived and worked in and with the USA for over twenty years and it is a great place to do business. I am confident that this will be made even easier as a result of Brexit and of course the other countries that we will start to open up business-wise.
- Don’t worry about what you cannot control – stay focused on your business and the opportunities ahead.
Here are three more points to focus on specifically relating to your business:
- Make sure you keep up-to-date with the research relating to your business sector — every business will fall into a business sector and it is important that you understand the economics of that sector and try to predict how it will look in the future and by the future, I mean 6 to 12 months.
- The results of your research will allow you to make sure you understand your customer dynamics and align your own company and the products and/or services you provide to those dynamics. It will also pay you dividends to look closely at your competitors and their offerings.
- Make sure your business message is clear — your clients need to know exactly what you are offering them and it is equally important that you educate your customers about how to buy from you. You would be amazed at how many companies simply do not do this and instead, have these long-winded web sites that ramble on about how successful they are, rather than articulating exactly what they do and how their customers can buy from them.
Finally, remember that business is after all “business.”
Companies and people are affected by political matters, but at the end of the day, they still have to run their companies.
Go out there and make sure you add massive value to your customers and the word “Brexit” will be immaterial!
Please contact me if you want to discuss this or any business matter further…I love to help people solve those challenging and complex issues that keep them awake at night!
Last modified: December 13, 2019