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Brexit - Factsheets

Brexit - ten things directors should consider next

31 May 2017

The UK has voted to leave the EU and the future for businesses looks uncertain

With Prime Minister Theresa May triggering Article 50 on 29th March 2017 to start the two year countdown, we examine what directors should be thinking about next and how the IoD can help.

Top tips to prepare for Brexit

1. Review your business plan

Many directors produce a business plan when they launch a company - to be updated should they need to borrow money. If you want to maximise your chances of success, update your business plan regularly.

2. Think about cashflow and alternative finance

A business can survive for a short time without sales or profits, but not without cash: funding opportunities have already shown signs of being affected by the referendum result. The IoD has lots of expert advice available, including guides to managing your cashflow, recovery options for late payments, and alternative sources of finance.

3. Keep up to date with Recruitment & Employment law

Whether you are recruiting new staff, or thinking about redundancies, it's vital you stay on the right side of the law. The EU has had a significant impact on employment law, so if you have a question, IoD members can call our legal helpline for quick answers, or make an appointment with the Directors' Advisory Service for an in-depth discussion.

4. Review business continuity, risk management and disaster planning

Business continuity and planning is intended to ensure that a business can continue to function despite serious incidents that might otherwise interrupt operations - or that they will at least be able to resume within a reasonably short period. Risks related to EU exit might include tariff changes for importers, new employment laws, or supply chain problems. 

5. Check your responsibilities and liabilities as a director

Are you aware of your legal duties and responsibilities as a company director? With uncertain times ahead, it’s good to be clear about the risks and liabilities you face.

We recommend that you refresh your knowledge about the role of the Managing Director and the importance of good Corporate Governance.

6. Consider alternative markets

Whilst the status quo will continue until the UK negotiates an exit agreement with Brussels, directors may wish to consider moving their business abroad or explore alternative import/export markets. Selling online or social media marketing may offer quicker routes to new overseas markets than traditional marketing strategies.

7. Think about developing your board & staff

In an uncertain economic climate, it's vital to know that you can rely on your board and your staff.

Employee health & wellbeing and training & development can affect your business performance, especially as the UK exits Europe and workers may worry about losing EU protections. Considering your team and addressing any weaknesses now allows you to strengthen your business.

8. Review your own leadership skills & support network

Hone your skills as a director, and build your support network to ensure that you are well prepared for change and disruption.

Finding a coach or mentor who can guide you or share their experience can be invaluable too.

9. Consider your own career plan

Understanding the value of your own skills allows you to take full advantage of career options available in the UK or Europe, whether you are considering an non-executive role or just keeping your CV up to date.

10. Have your say

A central mission of the IoD is to represent the views of its members to government to help deliver the business environment you need to thrive. Tell us what is important for you and your business by joining the Policy Voice survey panel

You will receive monthly surveys asking for your views on key aspects of business life and current issues. Policy Voice enabled us to respond quickly to the result of the EU referendum with concerns of IoD members. Ensure your voice is heard by signing up now.

How can we help?

A key benefit of being an IoD member is having access to the Information and Advisory Service (IAS), which offers free business advice and research so members can run their companies more successfully.

The IAS is made up of four services – the Business Information Service, the Directors’ Advisory Service, the tax helpline and the legal helpline. 

We also provide access to our collection of resources and factsheets to gain insight, guidance and tips on various topics essential for business and directors.

If you have legal questions, call legal helpline for quick answers, or make an appointment with the Directors' Advisory Service for an in-depth discussion.

The Directors' Advisory Service can provide IoD members with telephone or face-to-face tailored advice on business finance; we can also review and advise on your CV.

Members can also view IoD factsheets on how to write a business plan, or book an appointment with the Directors’ Advisory Service to review an existing business plan with an expert adviser.

Finally, our Business Information Service can provide members with further information about risk management planning, doing business abroad, and board and staff development.

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