An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Surviving Brexit

Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty that deals with the mechanism for departure is pictured near an EU flag following Britain's referendum results to leave the European Union, in this photo illustration taken in Brussels, Belgium, June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Illustration/Files
Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty that deals with the mechanism for departure is pictured near an EU flag following Britain's referendum results to leave the European Union, in this photo illustration taken in Brussels, Belgium, June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Illustration/Files

LONDON – PERSPECTIVE – With the Brexit deadline looming, there is a great deal of uncertainty in the air, which is understandably causing stress and anxiety for entrepreneurs. It is hard to predict exactly what will happen in the short and long-term, but it is smart for business owners to plan ahead and think about how they can navigate this period of uncertainty. This will depend entirely on the type of operation that you run, but there are a few helpful tips which should help to reduce stress during this time while also helping you to be prepared once Brexit finally happens. Read on to find out more.

Understand What Brexit Means

It has been impossible to ignore Brexit over the last few years as it has been a major news story practically every single day. Despite this, many people are not entirely sure exactly what it means, which is problematic because it will have such a large impact on life for all. It is for this reason why an entrepreneur should learn exactly what Brexit will mean so that you can determine how it will impact your business operation.

Employment & Recruitment

One of the most common concerns that entrepreneurs have over Brexit is how it will impact employment and recruitment. The good news is that any employee that will have been in the UK for at least five years in December 2020 will be able to apply for “settled status” which will provide them with the same rights as British citizens. Those that have not been in the UK for five years are eligible for “pre-settled status” which they can change once they have reached five years.

In terms of recruitment, the end of freedom of movement means that it will be harder to recruit talent from overseas, which could be an issue due to the current skills shortage in the UK. This means that you should either start to recruit now or outsource the work (which can bring a handful of benefits).

Develop Your Team

Following this, the skills shortage in the UK could pose a problem, but you could always look to develop your own team. This is always a good idea anyway, as having the mindset to constantly be willing to learn more can strengthen your team. In addition to strengthening your business, this will also help to keep your workforce happy, motivated, and progressing their career within your own company.

Improve Your Own Abilities

Similarly, a smart entrepreneur will always be looking to develop, but there has never been a more important time for this than now when there is a great deal of uncertainty ahead. A Masters of Business is a smart idea that will teach you everything that you need to thrive in a post-Brexit environment and help your company to succeed. You can study for this online at respected institutions like Southern Cross University, which can make it easy to earn your qualification while you continue to run your business. When you know how to run a business effectively, and you have a good product/service and a strong work ethic, there is no reason why you cannot succeed no matter what is happening around the world.

Find Support

It is a daunting time for all entrepreneurs but particularly those that do not have much experience. Finding support in the form of a mentor or advisor is an excellent idea because they can provide personalised advice to your current situation and help you to steady the ship during this turbulent time. Additionally, it is always helpful to have an experienced entrepreneur in your corner who can offer advice and guidance. There are many ways to find a mentor if you do not have one, including:

  • Attending industry events
  • Joining entrepreneur communities (online and offline)
  • Joining mentor programs
  • Speaking to local business owners that you admire

Similarly, the Internet is an excellent resource for business advice, so be sure to make the most of what is available you. Of course, if you use the internet to find advice, make sure that this is from reliable and trusted sources.

Keep Costs Low

Keeping costs low is always a smart idea, but particularly now when there is so much uncertainty in the air. Reducing your business costs will help to improve your bottom line, which could be crucial if there are any dips post-Brexit. Although it is worthwhile finding ways to reduce your business costs, keep in mind that you still need to provide a high-quality product/service so these cuts should not interfere with your operation. A few ways to cut business costs without impacting the quality of the product/service include:

  • Remote working
  • Buying second-hand equipment and furniture
  • Using open-source software
  • Using alternative energy
  • Downsizing

Branch Out Into Stable Industries

The best entrepreneurs will always have businesses in industries which they know are reliable. There are certain industries which will always perform well no matter what is happening domestically and overseas, so branching out into these areas could be a smart idea post-Brexit. There are a few industries which are always reliable, as well as a few who could find themselves prospering in the coming years. These include:

  • Fitness
  • Health and beauty
  • Tech
  • Exporters to non-EU countries
  • Food waste
  • Alternative energy

Communicate

Everyone is worried about Brexit and what it means for the future. Therefore, it is helpful to communicate and be open with anyone related to the business. Do not shy away from having conversations with suppliers, investors, employees, and customers. Everyone is in the same boat, and communicating can help people to prepare, reduce anxiety, and know what to expect as best you can.

Avoid Taking Large Risks

It is an intelligent idea to hold back on any large plans or risks that you have until the dust has settled and the landscape is more certain. Entrepreneurs are always keen to take calculated risks to drive further success, but it is hard to predict what the short and future landscape will look like right now, so the risk is drastically more considerable.

Be Confident

Although you should avoid taking any large risks, you should still retain confidence in your approach to business. It is easy to worry and panic when there is so much uncertainty, but this type of negative thinking will only make matters worse. Having confidence in your business and being in tune with what is happening around you should help you to navigate the waters and come out the other side a more seasoned and intelligent entrepreneur.

Rainy Day Fund

It is important to be confident in your approach heading towards Brexit, but you must also be prepared for the worst. Ideally, you will have a rainy day fund which will help you to manage in case you see a significant drop in business – hopefully you will never have to dip into this, but it is helpful to have and can provide peace of mind. Additionally, you might want to consider having a second source of income with some kind of flexible home-based business, just like many other entrepreneurs already have in place. This can help boost income and provide money, even if your main business is struggling to make a profit like it once was. Having this in place will mean that you don’t have to worry about how you will pay for your bills and essentials in life.

It is understandable for entrepreneurs to have stress and anxiety over Brexit. It is hard to predict what the future holds but the information in this guide should help any entrepreneur to reduce stress and prepare for post-Brexit life.