The UK is "Open for Business" said Phillip Hammond! But as we enter the uncharted waters what can business owners be doing to make sure that they take advantage of the opportunities as they arise.

  • 1. Keep your cool

Worrying about how Brexit may or may not impact upon your business is counter-productive. It is a reality so trying to change the past is not going to help you move forward. The Chancellor said the full roll out of moving out of the European Union could take up to six years. Try not to get caught up in negative stories which you may hear or read about – such as businesses going under, everyone leaving the UK or mass redundancies. It wasn’t so long ago that we felt the impact of the recession and we heard similar stories then. We have talented business owners that have something to offer. People will still want to buy from you. Well run companies in whatever climate stand a good chance of withstanding any storm.

  • 2. Review your plan and do regular forecasting

Use this Brexit transition as a time to take stock of your business. Doing administration and financial planning may not be the most exciting part of the business but it is essential now to have a clear plan and look at any areas which could (not would) suffer and what contingencies you can put in place. Do also take a hard look at skill requirements and see if there are any areas you can strengthen. For example would you be better paying some staff on a contract basis to enable you to help reduce your fixed costs.

  • 3. Turn things on their head – are there new opportunities?

It’s too early to speculate on what trade agreements will be drawn up but rather than focus on downsides – flip things on their head. For example given the weaker pound against international currencies, your prices to those customers just got cheaper. Are there new international customers /companies you should be marketing to? Make sure you factor this into your new plan and also incorporate funds for marketing.

  • 4. Currency – get savvy

If you are worried that the pound could fall even further then this obviously will have a knock on effect for your business if you are having to pay suppliers in foreign currency. Seek advice from a currency expert and look at options to reduce the risk using arrangements such as forward contracts – a way of fixing the current exchange rate in advance could mitigate against further risk.