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With continued uncertainty how can small businesses plan for the future?

As the Brexit negotiations and parliamentary votes continue, how can small business leaders prepare and protect their business for what lies ahead?

With so much uncertainty you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s impossible to plan.

However, there are steps that businesses of all sizes can take now to start planning ahead.

There is also a wealth of information out there to help you. Here are some suggestions of where to go and the type of support out there:-

British Chamber of Commerce (BCC)

The BCC has a really helpful checklist which you can download from their website. It should give you a good starting point if you’re not sure how to plan or if you want to know more about possible changes. One area is that of border checks and how it could delay imports and exports. Should you consider increasing inventory or purchasing additional storage space for example?

There are also other resources available on here which can help you plan.

Gov.uk

Despite the Government working towards a Brexit deal, it has to prepare for a no deal scenario. Part of that preparation involves guidance for businesses, which is available online here.

There are articles on a range of topics from applying for EU funded projects to satellites. Last updated in October 2018, I imagine the nature of Brexit negotiations, means more updates could be made to these resources.

There is also a short questionnaire (7 questions) which, when answered, will provide you with advice on how to prepare your business for leaving the EU.

Federation of Small Business

On the Federation of Small Business website, you can find information on the five possible exit strategies and the possible effects for small businesses. For example, if there is a no deal, then trading will default to non–preferential WTO rules. This means that the EU will apply the Most Favoured Nation rate to goods imported from the UK.

You can also find information on continuity planning, which is an important exercise for any business but particularly useful in times of economic uncertainty or during times of business change.

There is a checklist for small businesses and further resources, including relevant blogs and podcasts.

ICAEW

Here you’ll find another Brexit checklist, with details on how to do a supply chain map. It also flags information from HMRC about exporting and importing goods from EU.

Your accountant

With uncertainty in the air, one of the best ways to prepare is to make sure that your accounts are looking healthy. If you have an accountant, speak to them about doing an MOT of your accounts. They may have some advice on invoicing or cash flow which could help your business ride the waves.

Your accountant should also be able to plan for tax changes associated with possible Brexit scenarios, such as customs and VAT.

How can THP help?

As you can see, there are lots of resources out there to help you prepare the best you can for Brexit, whatever the outcome might be. As the Girl Guides say – be prepared.

We’re doing our own Brexit preparations and helping clients with theirs too. If you think we could support you, speak to your local THP contact for more information, with offices in CheamChelmsfordWanstead, and Saffron Walden.

Avatar for Jon Pryse-Jones
About Jon Pryse-Jones

Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.

An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”

Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board.  “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says.  He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.

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