Brexit: Nearing the End of Transition
October 28, 2020
As it stands, the UK is set to complete the Brexit transition period on 1st January 2020, and there’s no end to the Coronavirus pandemic in sight.
Even in these circumstances; many retail businesses are still reluctant to make the changes needed to stay afloat. Supply chain issues, new routes to market and adaptations to products & services are still not being given the attention they require.
The Manufacturing and Engineering sector has remained strong during the lockdown period. Many have turned their attention to making adaptations to the products and services they provide. This has been necessary to keep the cash flowing.
Now is the time for business owners in the sector to consider the longer term implications that will come from our divorce with The European Union, and changes to trade deals that will affect many.
70% of the United Kingdom’s imports come from the EU, whilst 60% of our goods and services go the other way. With a ‘No Deal Brexit’ looming larger than ever and the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on demand, many UK businesses are unprepared for what is to come.
Ansar Mahmood, Founder of Pomegranate Consulting and Pomegranate Commercial Finance thinks that many business owners will be suffering more than just the usual New Year’s Day hangover:
“When we awaken on New Year’s Day, for many the usual positivity about the coming year will be replaced by worry and trepidation. Especially for those businesses that rely on current import and export deals with the Bloc”
Business owners are being encouraged to think of additional income streams, cost saving exercises and have an external advisor. As heart-breaking as it sounds, for many a reduction in staff may be necessary.
These alone may not be enough and sadly many businesses will perish as change doesn’t always come easy and more often than not, changes are made too late.
Dan Downes, Business Development Director for Pomegranate Consulting said, “Businesses that have survived monumental changes in the past are those that are quick to adapt and aren’t afraid to make difficult decisions”.
“In 2007 – 2008 I regularly spoke with business owners who felt that they could weather the storm. In my experience those who made new partnerships, necessary adaptations and protected their cash flow were the ones who survived the recession, and thrived for many years after”.
With lots of cautionary tales doing the rounds and a cacophony of ‘business advisors’ offering their help, who should business owners be speaking to right now?
The simple answer to that is your accountant. The best accountants are those that work in partnership with other professional advisory firms.
The best accountants are well versed in regulatory matters, have a solid understanding of how businesses operate and how changes may affect those businesses. Your accountant should be your most trusted business advisor who communicates with you regularly, keeps you up to date on important changes and is a sounding board for any ideas you might have.
If you aren’t receiving the advice you need, it may be time to make one of those difficult decisions.