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Small business Brexit planning guide

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Stephen Brown Recruitment, Employee Engagement, Company Culture...

As talk of Brexit dominates the business community’s conversations, there has never been a more important time to demonstrate your leadership to what is becoming an increasingly unsettled workforce.

The most proactive companies we work with are currently increasing communication with all their staff members to outline any plans to mitigate the risks of Brexit, to improve staff retention and avoid employee insecurity. Those businesses who have published a statement for employees on their position regarding Brexit are also finding this is a useful tool to attract new employees during the recruitment process, as it demonstrates confidence, planning and stability.

To produce your own Staff Brexit Statement, you may want to consider the following topics for inclusion:

1. Whether formally or informally, most businesses have considered the risks and opportunities of Brexit and the possible Brexit outcomes. Ensure your Senior Management team all share this knowledge and let your staff know that you have considered the possibilities of a variety of outcomes.

2. Share with employees how you see Brexit affecting your business in the following key areas:

  • Customer Service: Do you have expertise which you can share with your customers to add value to their Brexit planning and help you to create a competitive advantage with them? (e.g. transport and logistics, contingency stock financing models)
  • Supply Chain: Have you established alternative distribution channels to maintain continuity of supply?
  • Finance and Cashflow: Have you made provisions for increased raw materials stocks, increased pre-Brexit consignment stocking at customers or the financial impact of alternative distribution costs? Do you have a plan for short term export growth if the value of sterling makes your product an international bargain.
  • Markets: How much of your business is EU dependent? and what alternative markets have you begun to explore beyond Europe? If so, how have you done this?
  • Domestic Sales: Have you increased your focus on the domestic market to offset any EU losses?
  • Staffing and Employment: Do you employ European workers? Do they feel reassured by your business strategy? Have you begun exploring domestic talent such as apprentices or part-time workers?
  • Productivity: Have you implemented any automation initiatives to future proof your systems and reduce reliance on labour?
  • Innovation & Product Development: What have you done to make your product or service more appealing to alternative overseas buyers?
  • No risk opportunities: Has Brexit inspired you to take a course of action, which even without Brexit will still provide benefits to your business?

3. Communicate now: Express how you perceive the overall risks and opportunities of Brexit will affect your business.

4. Measuring the impact of Brexit: Advise which key indicators you will be tracking to measure the effects of Brexit and the potentially positive outcomes of new markets.

The most proactive businesses are continuing to see Brexit as an opportunity rather than a threat and continue to invest in the people who will enable them to thrive in 2019. Without the right people in the right jobs a business ceases to exist. Contact us today for informed and trusted advice on how to identify and attract the best talent in 2019.

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