As we continue to hold our breath over the real outcome of Brexit - will we secure a deal or won’t we? SMEs need to be proactive, not reactive in the meantime.
So, here’s what you can do to make your business ‘Brexit-proof’:
The only guarantee in life is change, Brexit has certainly proved that; so be prepared to be flexible - in everything. This is the advantage you, as an SME, have. It’s not nearly as easy for large corporations to be so proactive, quick and lively at making changes.
2. Marketing Plan
Marketing is so very important, yet so many businesses we speak to don’t find the time to sit down and work out a scheduled plan of marketing. Use this time to look at your social media activity, advertising and PR within industry press, even contacting existing customers for upsell opportunities.
3. Reassure Your Customers
In private or in public, most businesses have fears over the unknown effects of Brexit. So why not take the time to reassure your customers? Tell them you are prepared, that they are still your priority and your attention to detail and quality will not falter, regardless of the Brexit effects.
4. Supply Chain
Anticipate delays, and possible cost increases, on stock and materials imported from the EU. Don’t be afraid to contact suppliers and ask for their reassurances and find out how they are planning to deal with any knock on effects. Remember - knowledge is power!
5. Overseas Markets
If much of your business comes from the EU look at expanding your opportunities outside of the European Union.
6. Forward Contracts
Open a discussion with your suppliers and customers about arranging fixed, forward contracts that override any fluctuations in exchange rates. Also use the time to source UK suppliers, rather than overseas ones, if erratic exchange rates are to the detriment of your business.
7. Staff Training
Don’t under estimate the power of your own knowledge. Make time for a meeting to share your knowledge and skills to the rest of your team in a dedicated staff training session. Equally, spend some time on cross training your team - this also helps with contingency plans covering staff absences and highs in specific work areas.
What better time than to look at your overheads and see if you can cut costs. Look at your business rates, leasing fees, electricity and gas tariffs, look at your assets - can you rent out machinery in low seasons?
9. Avoid Knee Jerk Reactions
It’s all too easy to panic and make decisions you might regret. Be careful, rational and mindful about any major decision you make - don’t let Brexit stop your growth plans, but equally don’t do anything rash until you have all the facts. Regardless of the Brexit trade deal, or no deal, you shouldn’t be slowing down, just because the UK is uncertain about its future. For one thing, it will give your competitors a head start; simply use it as a time to reassess your business’ practices.
In the meantime, to ensure your cashflow and working capital, have you considered invoice finance or confidential invoice finance, to ensure free flowing payments? Our award winning, SME invoice finance sees issued invoices paid within 24 hours.
Invoice finance is not borrowing - it’s advancing funds on monies you are owed without any assets secured against it.
Fact: Our customers, using invoice finance, grew by 13 % last year.
We pay you up to 90%, with the balance paid once your customer has settled their bills. We can even manage all the credit control and back office administration for you, leaving you free to concentrate on growing your business after Brexit.
With the uncertainties in the economy, perhaps now is also the time to consider protecting your business from customer failures, non-payment and bad debts. At Calverton we can incorporate Bad Debt Protection into your finance facility on a selective and cost effective basis.
Call us today on 01908 268888, or go online for an approval in less than 5 minutes.