I want to bang their heads together!02nd October 2019
When it comes to Brexit, I'm not one to take sides, at least not publicly…
….But I think there’s one thing we can all agree on, no matter how we voted.
The uncertainty for businesses right now is unbearable.
"Get ready for Brexit," say the government campaign ads. But they don't say how.
Get ready for business disruption and significant damage to our economy, Remainers counter. But they don't say how either.
It's enough to make me want to knock all their heads together…
…But I'll settle for sharing my thoughts with you in this article, so brace yourself for a bit of a rant.
How can businesses prepare successfully for something that hasn't even been properly defined yet, let alone planned and communicated to business leaders?
Nobody has a clue what's going to happen next. Even the people whose job it is to know, don't know.
It's still not 100% certain yet that we’ll actually leave the EU at all.
Assuming we do, then your guess is as good as mine exactly when and how it might happen, what the process would look like, and how it will affect business and finance.
We don't even know what Parliament might look like by the end of the year, or whether in a few months’ time, we are going to have a government of capitalists or socialists!
Is it any wonder that the Bank of England recently released a warning statement on how badly any further uncertainty about Brexit will damage the economy?
On my drive into work each day, I pass a sign on the M11 saying that if you export to the EU, the paperwork you need may change on November 1.
This is just a month away, yet it still says ‘MAY change’! Grrr...
The upshot is that many companies are putting off making even small financial decisions right now.
Everyone has adopted a "wait and see" mentality, which means contracts are delayed and profits go unrealised. Again and again, clients tell me that even massive corporates are holding back on decisions.
And all the bankers I know tell me they’ve noticed how risk-averse business leaders are right now.
(Ironically, the British economy is in fact in very good shape right now – unemployment is low, and there is growth even though nobody's clear on where that growth is coming from.)
So - how can you not only survive, but give your company the best opportunity to thrive in such an unpredictable, potentially volatile landscape?
Answer: You need extremely careful financial management.
In a sea of uncertainty, you need to bring as much certainty to your financial position as possible, so that you can plan ahead and make sensible decisions, no matter how difficult the political and economic landscape gets….
And so that you can also exploit any opportunities that arise – because there is always opportunity in uncertainty. ALWAYS!
In practical terms, that means you need to have an iron grip on all your numbers and know exactly where your business stands financially, at all times.
You want to make decisions based on real info and real assessments – not guesses and gut instinct.
And you need really robust cash flow forecasts that you can work with as the situation changes, and good financial plans that take into account the worst-case scenario.
In times of uncertainty, you must make your business as financially resilient as possible.
You need someone to work up all the risks and benefits of the opportunities open to you, and ensure that you have financial reserves if something goes wrong.
If you'd like advice and support to make that happen, get in touch today by emailing me or phoning us right now, on 01279 647447.
I can work with you to make sure your finances are being managed to world-class standards, so you can weather this period safely, take advantage of the new opportunities it generates -- and come out stronger when the Brexit storm finally dies down.
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