The hottest topic in Europe for the last two years has undeniably been Brexit. For or against, it doesn't matter anymore, because it's been set in motion, things are bound to change and we need to adjust. That doesn't only go for individuals, but also for businesses.
How are you preparing for the imminent Brexit? Do you have a plan? Is your business not tied to the EU in any way, or is it likely to be affected? What measures can you take to make sure the transition is as seamless as possible? Keep reading to find out!
Pay Attention To All The News And Stay On Top Of Changes
Obviously, we won't have any clear answers until we strike an actual deal, and even then, things might still be blurry for a while. At this time, the most important thing is simple - just stay on top of any news and changes that may be announced until or after Brexit or during the transition period. There's no use creating scenarios in your head before you know things for certain. GOV.uk has all the basic information you need in regards to the status of Brexit. Otherwise, BBC is always a good option for news.
Be Aware Of Where Your Products Come From And Review The Supply Chain
This may be the time to start thinking about who your suppliers are and where your products are coming from, including parts like the raw materials or certain components. Are they of EU origin, or of UK origin? Will that be a problem in the future? Can you afford to pay any additional tariffs that may be applied to imported goods from the EU?
If it's an option, you may wish to consider switching to a UK supplier, instead, in order to prevent any potential issues that may arise in the next few years because of the changes in the relationships between the EU and the UK. It may also be a good idea to keep an eye on agreements in regards to access to the EU market without tariffs.
Be Aware Of The Status Of Your EU Employees
Residency status is definitely going to be up in the air when it comes to EU nationals living and working in the UK and you need to be aware of their situation, how likely they are to be able to remain, if they want to, etc. You don't want to wake up to half your staff gone overnight.
As of right now, EU citizens still have time to settle in the UK and/or decide whether they want to come or go. Even after the official Brexit date, there is an adjustment period until December 2020 during which EU nationals can apply for pre-settled status and settled status, respectively, if they wish to remain in the UK. Make sure your staff is aware of any changes that may occur and that you have a plan in case something happens. Citizens Advice can offer free advice on immigration, if you need it.
Reassure EU Customers
If you're trading with the EU or regularly deliver goods to customers in the EU, there may be some understandable rustling of feathers, things are being decided and people are wondering where that leaves things. The best thing to do at this stage is to reassure all of your clients and trading partners that nothing will change in the services you provide or the way you provide them.
You will also want to keep them updated and let them know of any changes or transitions that may be inherent to the process. But especially right now, when nothing is decided yet and nothing is certain, there is no need for alarm.
As you can see, even though Brexit will certainly mean that things are going to change somewhat, you can be prepared, as a business, and make sure things don't get shaken up too much. Depending on what your business is, it may not be affected at all, but if it's likely to suffer changes, it's smart to get ahead of the game and make sure you are as prepared as possible, including potential contingency plans.
Be aware of the status of the negotiations, the residency status of your employees and how EU trade is going to be affected. If you found this useful, you might also be interested in What Are The Funding Options For Your Business.