Now that the dust has settled around the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, we wanted to discuss how Brexit might impact businesses that are based in and trade with the UK. Whether you’re dreading the change or think Brexit is going to be a positive move, nobody really knows what the impact will be until the process begins so it’s all guess work but there are experts out there who have made educated predictions about the economy as a whole, as well as the effect on a variety of industries.
It seems inevitable that the economy will take a dip shortly after Article 50 is triggered and we face a period of uncertainty while Brexit is negotiated. Consumers are likely to spend less so businesses who rely on product sales may find that sales slow down for a period, whether or not they trade outside the UK. The EU is our biggest trading market so a move away from it will leave international consumers understandably reluctant to invest and purchase until our new global trading position is cemented.
Due to the weakening of the pound, businesses who use international services are likely to see a rise in their cost of overheads – including US-based services like AWS and Mailchimp. Small monthly bills won’t see an increase large enough to be hugely concerned about but for those larger organisations who purchase corporate packages, it could become a real issue. Our advice? Adjust your financial forecast now and make yourself aware of any changes in your monthly bills.
Another factor to bear in mind for the future is the potential uncertainty around hosting and arrangements around the import and export of data. Numerous hosting providers are based within the EU (AWS has data centres in Dublin and Frankfurt, SiteGround in Amsterdam and WP Engine’s data centre can be found in London) and it’s still unclear what any new legislation will look like and whether companies may need to move their hosting to meet new regulations.
Continuing to stand out against competitors will be imperative for businesses, so it’s a great time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy and ensure you’re doing everything you can to promote your business online and build up a strong online reputation. In the same vein, first impressions will now be more important than ever, with customers likely to become increasingly finicky. If you’ve been thinking about investing in marketing and having your website revamped, there’s never been a better time.
To balance the scales and ends things on a more positive note, this is a fantastic time to take advantage of the lower exchange rate and sell more goods and services to Europe and further afield. Don’t forget that we’re likely to remain in the EU for a couple of years after Article 50 has triggered so there’s plenty of time to do business and win loyal customers – and the current lower exchange rate (which seems negative at first glance) can be reframed to be seen as a competitive advantage.
Brexit will be an uncertain period for everybody, businessperson or not, and it’s certainly not a time for complacency. There will undoubtedly be some tough times ahead but businesses can be proactive and meet the challenges head on, minimising the impact Brexit will have on their business.