What does Brexit mean for your small business?
Contributed by: Berley

Brexit coin and business word in letter blocks

Not all businesses are going to be affected by Brexit – it may simply pass you by if you’re in an unaffected industry. However, for certain small business owners, Brexit means uncertainty. The truth is that nobody really knows what’s going to happen, although there are many guesses floating around. Having said that, you can track some current changes and use them to predict what’s going to happen, with a little help from the small business experts at Berley. Here’s what’s changing and how you can prepare for it.

Less EU workers

Current statistics show that from the point Brexit was announced, the net migration level of EU workers coming into the UK has dropped, with the last count put it at 74,000. One theory attributes this to uncertainty pertaining to workers’ right. Most workers’ rights today are determined by EU law, which the UK will not be subject to after Brexit. If your business relies on many EU workers, retaining your staff should be a priority. While it is unlikely that many of the current workers’ rights will change, it helps to reinforce exactly what your workers will be entitled to after Brexit. Your employees trust you, so make sure you earn that trust and treat them fairly. Giving them a solid future will make them less likely to look for job prospects elsewhere.

Attract foreign investment

The pound has dropped in value after the Brexit vote, currently sitting at around 1.12 Euros. Many experts predict the value will drop further if the UK leaves without an agreement, but whether this will actually happen is unclear. A weaker pound has its own challenges and advantages, but one clear advantage is plenty of overseas companies will be looking to get a foothold in the UK, especially if the pound drops further. As a UK-based business, you are in the perfect position to forge some profitable connections and partnerships. To make your business look attractive to foreign investors, have a solid business plan with strong growth statistics, think outside the box and be prepared to take things to the next level. 

UK supply chains may be cheaper

After Brexit there could potentially be new laws which would require customs and excise duty to be paid on anything imported from the EU, increasing the price of anything shipped in. Full details on the tax implications of Brexit can be found on the government’s website, but the upshot is it will cost more to import goods into the UK from EU countries. You can prepare this now by factoring the increased cost and adjusting your business plans.  

But it is not all doom and gloom. As a small business, you have an opportunity to find new or existing suppliers within the UK or outside the EU (look at emerging markets from Africa to South Asia as they tend to be cheaper).  If you cost is going to be less than your competitors with EU suppliers, you know you will have a massive competitive advantage. 

How can Berley help?

It is important to realise that although things may be very different for UK-based small businesses after Brexit, there will be opportunities amidst uncertainty. As chartered accountants for small businesses in London, Berley specialises in helping SMEs reach their potential. We can support you with a range of tax advice and planning to help you plan for the future.

For more information on how Berley can support your business through Brexit, or for some advice on what you can do to stay afloat, call us today on 020 7788 8261 or fill out our Online Form.

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