Brexit and the inevitable uncertainty arising will have far-reaching impacts for many businesses. Risks, but also it might create new opportunities. Middle market businesses in Staffordshire need to start planning now and taking their own actions for various potential scenarios, including no-deal, as a result of the UK leaving the European Union.
Our Brexit team has collated areas Staffordshire businesses might consider, grouped under five sections:
Regulation and compliance
Maintaining compliance with changing regulatory frameworks will be crucial to enabling a business to continue to operate and trade across the EU and non-EU countries as they do now and remain competitive. For example, businesses will need to consider how Brexit might impact their ability to access some tax reliefs; whether their current insurance provisions will still be appropriate; will the ability to operate and trade seamlessly in the EU be disrupted due to regulatory changes; and whether changes to legislation will impact audit and financial reporting requirements?
Financial planning and forecasting
Forecasting the impact of decisions and price shock uncertainty will be crucial to maintaining business continuity. Equally important will be the ability to access finance to fund suitable working capital requirements, including managing cashflow, tax implications and technology.
Can your supply chain withstand any Brexit related disruption without negatively affecting your business and your customers? Businesses need to consider the potential impact of increased customs duties, increased bureaucracy and greater regulation causing delays to the movement of goods and services; and the consequential knock-on, and the effects too cash-flow, lead times, customer relationships, product quality and fulfilment of contracts. Have you made sure your suppliers and their suppliers have thought about this? Also, have you considered sourcing new suppliers locally which may provide better terms?
People and talent management
Changes to UK immigration policy will have an impact and businesses should consider how they will continue to recruit and retain the right people to maintain business continuity and make the most of Brexit opportunities as progressive businesses may well be more successful in attracting and/or retaining quality staff both domestically and in the EU.
Avoiding disruption to core operations and maintaining business continuity will require careful planning and may involve restructuring the business or acquiring additional entities in different jurisdictions. This may also mean outsourcing key areas to increase efficiency and enable a business to focus resources elsewhere.
These are just some of the areas we suggest middle-market businesses should be looking at right now to gain a competitive advantage over businesses that are taking a wait and see approach. For more detail, please click here.