While it’s still too soon for us to predict how the UK’s decision to leave the EU will really pan out, it is important that we start planning to protect our businesses, and ensure that any risks are mitigated and that we can profit from any opportunities that will surface in the next couple of years.
The companies that did best during the last recession were the ones that continued to invest in their sales and marketing and worked on their operational efficiency, not the ones that made cutbacks.
It’s too early to predict how the UK’s vote to leave the EU is going to impact small and medium-sized businesses, but it is early enough to start planning. Some companies, for example, are moving to Dublin or Germany so they can stay in the free market as you can see in this post on tax from VAT Global.
Bloomberg made a study of nine successful companies, spanning three years, during the 2007-2009 global economic turndown, and found that the companies that focused on the following were the best positioned to succeed:
1 – Making their product more appealing, with better service, instead of just making things cheaper.
2 – Improving their sales channels – making it easier for customers to do research and purchase products.
3 – Using data analytics judiciously to improve customer service and also to help boost profits.
4 – Finding innovative ways to cut costs, instead of simply cutting corners.
5 – Aggressively investing even if there is a downturn.
6 – Improving efficiency even in more mundane areas.
7 – Incentivising employees and using inspirational methods to keep them engaged.
We can draw an interesting conclusion from this study – that optimism and active investment in business improvement is the best policy.
It is also sometimes true that pessimism can be a fulfilling prophecy – if you put investment plans on hold and start to make cutbacks, that may well have a negative impact on your business, and on the wider economy as a whole.