Most businesses thrive when they can be certain of just a few basic indicators. In a nut-shell they include:
- Low interest rates – the cost of money has been relatively low now for some years which has encouraged investment.
- Continuity of supply and price – we all need certainty that we can obtain the goods and services we need to deliver our products and at a consistent cost.
- Long-term export price stability – overseas competitors are lying in wait should our prices increase, be subject to new tariffs or be adversely affected by the value of the £.
- Minimal interference by government – we need to fund our contribution to maintaining infrastructure, but red-tape can absorb too much of our creative time and be a disincentive to expansion and investment.
It is interesting to consider the above in the context of changes we will all have to make if our new government follows through on its mantra to leave the EU on 31 October at any cost.
All of the indicators listed above have the potential to be affected.
Whilst you can argue either side of the Brexit debate, the fallout from a no-deal exit will likely fall on UK businesses, and as is usually the case, it will be left to hard working business owners to pick themselves up and develop strategies to counter any downside economic consequences.
Certainly, we should all be planning for a no-deal exit. Advice from government is sketchy or inaccessible but this should not be a disincentive. Basic risk assessment can expose weaknesses in supply lines, vulnerability to price changes and the effects of tariffs. Wider economic concerns might include upward pressure on interest rates and increased competition from overseas businesses.
We will need to adapt to these changing circumstances and it makes sense to start the planning process now.