Almost three years ago the UK voted to leave the EU and the future for businesses still looks uncertain.
With the UK committed to leaving the European Union, we re-examine some practical steps directors should be taking 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 been affected by the uncertainty. 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. If you employ EU nationals, you will need to find out more about Settled Status for EU citizens in the UK.
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 without a deal 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
With uncertainty around whether or not the UK will leave with a negotiated settlement, 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 the EU 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 a 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 and was fundamental in ensuring a transition period is Government policy. Ensure your voice is heard by signing up now.
Brexit is an example of the strategic challenges and opportunities which face company directors. These resources can help inform your decision making regarding Brexit - but they are also your long-term support for life as a company director.
IoD Business Information Service - The IoD’s research team dedicated to the business interests of members, providing content from subscription databases you would otherwise have to pay for.
IoD Directors Advisory Service - A panel of lawyers, accountants and other professionals available for face to face meetings at 116 Pall Mall, or phone call.
IoD Directors Law Express - The legal helpline for IoD members, with coverage of most EU member jurisdictions.
IoD Directors Tax Helpline - The tax helpline for IoD members – get quick clarification on specific tax questions.
IoD Professional Development - A range of courses to make you a professional director and be recognised for it – includes courses open to non-members.
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