Brexit: A shock result - But how should you respond?
Strange times in these wind and rain swept isles. English football has had a collective nervous breakdown. But do we as a nation feel the need to do the same in response to the shock result of Britain leaving the EU?
Having spent the majority of my working life in international sales, I am particularly gloomy that the UK has elected to inflict the wondrous act of exiting the world’s biggest single free market.
However, now is not the time to have a collective nervous breakdown. Instead, we need to show that British stiff upper lip determination to make a fist of it.
Is there opportunity to be found for business?
The simple answer is yes.
One counterintuitive but immediate and obvious one is the opportunity of exporting to the 27 countries of the EU.
With any trigger of Article 50 unlikely until at least October 2016, British business has over two years’ unfettered access to 500+ million people. Add to this the new and incredibly favourable exchange rates - our products are now at least 10% more competitive - and suddenly there are excellent conditions for business.
What should your strategy be?
The most important thing is to think about the next two years as an opportunity to establish a permanent presence for your business in an EU country. It sounds daunting, but I promise you it is not, provided your approach is strategic.
- Use an accounting firm with offices in multiple European cities – This way, you’ll get immediate access to business set up advice, accounting, HR services and payroll
- Choose a country with great logistic links and a good cultural fit – For example, I’ve worked extensively with South West Poland. We chose the area for its low cost competitive base, excellent skilled workforce and terrific access westwards to German and into the heart of Europe. Poland also takes advantage of those wonderful million plus Poles who have come to work in the UK and are a great source of intelligence and resource heading the other way
What’s the prize?
Use the next two (and a bit) year window wisely, and you’ll put down strong foundations for your business.
That way, irrespective of what the UK does, you’ll have a permanently established presence in an EU country where your business can continue to have unfettered access to this fantastic single market for perpetuity.
At Cognition, our Route to Growth strategy approach – developed over 18 years – will help you make the plan and then work alongside you to deliver it.