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Get ready for whatever Brexit has in store for us

06 Feb 2019

Brexit card

Jane Cattermole, IoD Member and Managing Director of Baytree VA offers business planning advice for possible Brexit outcomes

With countdown well under way to the end of March, businesses are still wondering ‘what will Brexit mean for me and my business?’ 

Despite the repeated messages to the contrary, it isn’t clear what this will look like in practice. At Baytree VA, we have a ‘can-do’ attitude. Our remote-working PA service is nimble in response to changing requirements and adapts as clients grow. 

Our client base falls squarely in the SME sector and the general feeling is that ‘we’ll carry on regardless’. However, it is always best to be prepared for change and opportunity:

• Start to investigate technological advances so that location isn’t a barrier. With shared cloud workspaces, messaging platforms and web conferencing, you can stay connected and in tune with your clients and suppliers if they move further afield.

• Do you have confidence in your current systems and processes? If not, how can these be improved so they are less susceptible to bottlenecks or delays.

• Can you streamline any areas of work so that tasks become automated or less time consuming? Cloud software apps can be helpful in this regard. A lot of them are powerful in their simplicity, work on a monthly subscription and can make a big difference to the efficiency of running your business. Check out apps for bookkeeping, time-tracking, CRM and project management systems.

• With employment at record levels, it can be difficult to recruit staff. Are you making the most of who you do have? Review what you are asking your highest earning team members to do – are they spending time on routine tasks that could be done more efficiently by someone else, thereby providing more scope to utilise your experts’ skills? 

• If you don’t want to add to your headcount but need more resource, consider expanding your team by using freelance help. There are freelancers in all areas of business now and they can provide a continuity of service which will flex with your business needs.

• Make sure you are on the mailing list of your local enterprise agency and growth hub (to find out your local details visit and In addition to the IoD, these channels will help you stay up-to-date as changes and opportunities are disseminated through to your local business community.  

With so much outside of our control, let’s focus on what we can do something about. 

Written by Jane Cattermole
IoD Member and Founder & Managing Director of Baytree VA

For more information, read 'Are you Resourced for the Administration Burden of Brexit?' by IoD Suffolk Brexit Ambassador, Jim Fanshawe and our 'Business Planning for Brexit' guide by IoD Brexit expert Allie Renison.

You can also join The Brexit hub-

Remember to attend our IoD Brittelstand Symposium on 13 March led by our Brexit expert Allie Renison-

For extra member support, visit our IoD Information Service, providing expert confidential advice, research, and legal and tax helplines- 

Contact IoD East of England

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East of England

Branch and staff contacts can be found on the main Contacts tab