Brexit looks imminent, and what it will mean specifically for businesses in the UK is uncertain at this point. There is no doubt however that there will be major upheaval that will impact nearly every business of any size selling their products and services in the country or to any other country in the EU.
For small businesses that have very delicate business ecosystems, navigating Brexit correctly can mean the difference between survival and extinction.
If you own a small business in the UK, you are no doubt nervous about what you should be doing to prepare yourself for the changes that Brexit will bring. Here are five ways you can prepare your company for Brexit.
- Do a Brexit Audit of Your Company
A Brexit audit is where you examine all key areas and departments of your company to determine which of them will be affected by Brexit. A thorough auditing is required and when you find any areas where you are uncertain consult an expert such as an attorney who is familiar with the coming changes in law to assist you. There are also consultants who can help with nearly every area you will be affected. For example, in terms of your business’s healthcare coverage, you should work with a provider that can assist you with any issues related to Brexit. Using experts like this helps you to prepare your business for any eventuality.
- Do Some forward Planning
Work out what resources you will need after Brexit and what your company would need to acquire those resources. Are they easily available to you? Would you need more resources including cash to acquire them? Understanding what you need when looking into the future can get you to do the proper forward planning that can prepare your business for the coming changes.
- Be Prepared to be Nimble
There is a good chance that laws will change and be rewritten once the full impact of Brexit is realised. The UK has made projections about what they believe will occur to businesses in the country, but as with most projections these will likely not reflect the real world. For this reason, you need to be prepared to make some quick changes at your company. The problem is you cannot anticipate today where changes will need to be made. With this in mind, do all you can to make shorter term contracts in the areas of employment, supply chains and anything to do with contractual commitments.
- Review All Contracts
Your agreements with suppliers and customers will likely need to be amended if they operate outside of the UK. Start these conversations now so each side has time to work through any issues that become pertinent. Let suppliers and customers know that your company will likely need some flexibility going forward and you will work directly with them to make sure things stay focused on a beneficial relationship.
- Reclassify Your EU Employees
If your company has employees from the EU and you plan to continue to have them working for you after Brexit, they will need to be reclassified. Each employee needs to apply for a ‘settled status’ which requires paperwork. Work alongside a knowledgeable employment attorney to make sure that you are covered legally.
Take these precautions and any others that are relevant to your particular business and industry, and you will be best prepared for Brexit.