Brexit seems to be consistently dominating the headlines – and never in a positive way. We have heard the horror stories about running out of food and businesses moving out of the UK, but what about the opportunities Brexit could provide the UK, particularly for small businesses? Brexit is extremely worrying for businesses, like the Tier 2 Visa’s not used by these 5.8 million UK small businesses who also can’t afford extra costs or the threat of losing their businesses. The good news is that there is potential for small businesses to benefit for Brexit, and these are just some of the possible benefits.
It is well known that Brexit has the caused the pound’s deprecation in value, but this is not entirely bad news. In fact, this could encourage investment from private equity firms, who will have more opportunities to invest in more industries in the UK. This can help small businesses, many of which depend on investment. If you require an investment for your current business or future projects, this is a good time to start looking at firms who invest, as they are in a better position to do so pre-Brexit.
Small businesses tend to be a lot more flexible than larger organisations, who need to follow strict guidelines. There could be greater opportunities to do business with other countries throughout the globe, rather than simply trading back and forth with EU countries. As trading costs are likely to rise, this is a good time for small businesses to take advantage of this and open their business up to other countries. You can be sure that countries throughout the world will be pleased about Brexit, as they know it will provide them with greater opportunities to work with UK businesses.
The horror stories we have been fed by the media about talent shortages are not as gloomy as they may seem, however, EU net migration is sitting at the lowest level since 2003. The UK still has more EU citizens arriving in the UK than leaving, with 151,000 leaving since the Brexit vote to June 2019, but 199,000 arriving. These figures, although slightly worrying, are not as bad as some tabloids might make us believe, however, there are still signs that businesses need to be concerned. Instead of worrying about this, small businesses can be more proactive when trying to fill their job vacancies. It may provide more opportunities to look at local talent, and focus on upskilling employees to ensure vacancies are filled. There are plenty of skilled workers in the UK, who may need a little training, but would be able to fill roles, if the opportunity presented itself. Employing more workers from the UK is better for the economy in general.
After Brexit, public sector tasks, which are currently being taken care of by EU officials, will fall into the hands of the UK. This gives small business owners the opportunity to look into supplying goods and services to the public sector, as the government will be turning their attention onto small British businesses to fulfil their needs.
If you are producing products in the UK and currently only supplying in the UK, Brexit could see your business soar. With the increase in costs for importing goods and services from the EU, businesses will be looking at local suppliers instead, so this is a great opportunity for British businesses to explore their local market. Small businesses can really take advantage of Brexit, if they market themselves well.
Are you experienced in change management, are you a business coach or maybe this is something you could potentially offer? As businesses in the UK (and the EU for that matter) will be struggling to deal with the changes Brexit presents, this is a good time to tap into this market, if it’s something you can offer clients, especially if you can offer good rates.
If you are a small business who currently only provides freelance work, or this is something you could potentially offer, now is the time to start putting this into place. You may even be a full time employee with uncertainty about the future of your current job, or you would just rather work for yourself. There is a huge demand for freelancers and this is only set to increase, as businesses look at ways to cut costs. Some businesses don’t have the workload to justify hiring a permanent employee or they may just be looking to cut payroll costs. As freelancers don’t require holiday pay, NI, pensions etc, they can be extremely attractive to employers. Businesses across the UK will be looking at ways to keep their costs down and may be uncertain about hiring EU citizens, and this could provide new opportunities for small businesses in the UK; especially those who can be flexible.
As businesses in the UK will be looking at cutting costs, small businesses can take this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to get their brand out there, while businesses are on the lookout for alternative options. This is the time for small businesses to look at their competitors and offer more attractive deals to UK businesses, in order to become more competitive and really grow their business. This is the one time where businesses will be reassessing their whole business and they’ll be looking to explore other options. If you can present your business well during this time, you will be likely to gain more business, especially if you can offer good deals.
We hear a lot about the doom and gloom of Brexit, and very little about the opportunities it presents, especially for small businesses who want to grow their business locally and/or globally. It is the time to be competitive, creative and look at other ways they can become attractive to other businesses. It is the time to be positive and look at Brexit as an opportunity. With the right strategy in place to deal with the changes Brexit will present, small businesses in the UK can really grow their business.