The danger with ongoing political stories – regardless of how much they affect you personally – is that there can come a point where you start to switch off from the headlines and rhetoric.
Usually, because there’s nothing much new to say.
Brexit, for me, is one of those stories.
Just after the results were announced I was eagerly seeking out news about how this would affect me and my business. But now, over a year on, and no real guarantees in the bag? Well, I’ll admit it’s harder to maintain interest when nothing is certain.
But it’s an important issue for the likes of you and me. The entrepreneurs and sole traders. The SME owners. The businesses most vulnerable to massive political, economic and social upheaval. And when we asked over 800 small business owners how Brexit had affected them one year on, the impact was clear.
But is it clear to you?
If not, here’s a SWOT analysis of the situation, based on what we know right now…
- Small businesses are more easily adaptable. We’ve less infrastructure and reliance on systems than large corporations and can be agile and fast in response to change.
- Entrepreneurial spirit seeks opportunities. There are always winners and losers in economic uncertainty and downtimes… entrepreneurs are notorious for maximising the opportunities and have a keen nose for sniffing them out.
- We’re a keep calm and carry on nation. And whilst it may be cliché, we Brits do get on with things and pull together in times of need. I suspect the business community will pull together even more to share knowledge and resource.
- Uncertainty makes it hard to make decisions. It’s even more important for you as the business owner to weigh up the risks of any business decisions. Whilst there are many opportunities, there are few guarantees and fortune doesn’t always favour the brave.
- Your staff may be affected. Especially if you hire EU citizens who, come the end of negotiations, may leave the UK, leaving you with a personnel issue that could take time to resolve.
- SMEs are vulnerable to cash-flow issues. If you’ve yet to make provisions for a reduction in lending and funding, or an increase in interest rates, now is the time to bolster your financial defences. And with price rises for imported goods set to soar even further, it’s a fact that doing business is going to cost more.