“Have you seen the weather lately?”
No matter who you speak to, when or where; the weather is usually the main topic of conversation here in the UK.
But for once the universal topic of weather has been upstaged. One word has lately dominated conversations across the length and breadth of the country;
As things stand, on the 31st of October 2019 the UK will leave the European Union. What will happen before, during and after that event is largely unknown.
How can businesses prepare for the unknown outcomes of Brexit? By using timeless principles to guide their steps.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best
Change of any kind can be managed. Preparing yourself, your staff, your customers and any other stakeholders is key to steering through change.
Ask yourself questions like;
- How will our supply chain be affected?
- How will our workforce be affected?
- What additional costs may be introduced? (Ie. tariffs)
- Where is our target market based?
- Do we have enough stock to continue operating through the transitional period?
Review your companies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) with post-Brexit in mind. Brexit could yield unexpected opportunities in current or new markets.
Useful Link: https://www.gov.uk/brexit
Whatever measures you decide to take, be sure to let people know. Uncertainty is often rooted in a lack of understanding.
Being open and honest about your plans will help to reassure your staff and customers.
Clear concise language communicated through various channels will ensure your stakeholders are onboard with your plans.
Know your business
This one sounds obvious but there has never been a more important time to have an intimate knowledge of your business.
Taking the time to find out what your stakeholders thoughts and feelings are about Brexit will help you to work with them to navigate any changes.
Understanding the subtle intricacies of your business will help you to keep a baseline on your businesses health during this period of change.
Keep calm and carry on
Ultimately change is always on the horizon. Whether Brexit yields sweeping changes or floats gently by, more change will undoubtedly come in the future. The ability to calmly navigate change is what separates good businesses from great businesses.
Make it your aim to steer you stakeholders through the days ahead, proactively turn the threat of Brexit into an opportunity to advance your business, and good things will be sure to follow.