Brexit – keep on keepin’ on

It’s back to school and back to Brexit as MPs retake their seats following a break for summer. With a long and uncertain road ahead, it’s more important than ever for businesses to keep their cool throughout the duration of government planning and the exit deal discussions themselves.

The UK’s vote to leave the EU has sent shockwaves around the global economy, but the initial impact on UK businesses is not as profound as perhaps predicted. Our recent BDO Brexit survey of the UK mid-market shows that two-thirds of fast-growth firms are continuing to pursue investment plans and setting their sights on growth.

If businesses are unfazed by the media Brexit bazaar and still persevering with the doing, so should we advisers. Here are five dos for businesses to keep on keepin’ on: 

  • Do talk tactics – BDO’s post-Brexit vote survey revealed just 46% of management teams in high-growth businesses have put measures in place to cope with the Brexit fallout. Talking tactics to support your business pre and post Brexit should be on every boardroom agenda – keep your people assured and your clients advised.
  • Do invest – the productivity puzzle has been around the business block long before Brexit was on the scene. BDO’s Brexit survey sees 60% of businesses sticking to their guns with investment plans. With support from government policies, firms should make these investments in training and skills to create a strong, resilient and productive workforce. 
  • Do look for ups with the downs – there are winners and losers for many of the Brexit effects. Although a weak pound may throw shade to UK shoppers purchasing imported goods, manufacturers and exporters can reap the benefits from foreign buyers now needing less currency to purchase goods of the same quantity. London is also becoming the top location for luxury goods retail thanks to the beneficial exchange rates.
  • Do be optimistic – despite the countless “doom and gloom” headlines since 23 June, BDO research revealed 65% of fast-growth firms were predicting positive growth for the year ahead. Firms must remain optimistic – we’re still a part of the EU (for now and for at least another two and a half years) so efforts must be focused on security and sustainability for the future. 
  • Do seek opportunities – whatever happens, the UK hasn’t moved to another planet or even leaving the continent; we’re only planning to leave the EU. Businesses must stay well-connected and have the confidence to be bold in decision-making. As David Davis said as he addressed the House of Commons, "Brexit isn’t about making the best of a bad job. It is about seizing the huge and exciting opportunities that will flow from a new place for Britain in the world. There will be new freedoms, new opportunities, new horizons for this great country."