With just 12 months to go before the UK leaves the EU, the Prime Minister will travel around the country talking to a range of people, emphasising that - regardless of whether they backed Leave or Remain - what is important now is to make Brexit a success for everyone.
Today we highlight some of the issues that businesses need to consider as part of their Brexit strategy.
How well do you understand the Brexit process?
It’s essential to monitor and understand ongoing developments in the Brexit negotiations to inform your business strategy and planning. Businesses should have in place a Brexit research framework to capture relevant information which produces intelligence to clarify current and future challenges.
When was the business plan last reviewed?
Brexit requires businesses to spend time and effort in reviewing their current business plan to accommodate their Brexit strategy.
Is there a plan to address HR issues and are employees updated on the Brexit process?
The UK and the EU have now reached an agreement on what happens during the period immediately after Brexit, known as the implementation period. This is important as it will give citizens and businesses on both sides time to adjust before a new relationship with the EU is agreed.
Your HR function should have already identified issues which may arise during the implementation period and established an ongoing, two-way communications’ stream for employees, in general, as well as those who may be affected specifically by their status as EU citizens in the UK.
Have you researched the potential impact on customers?
Businesses succeed by understanding the needs of their customers today and in the future. Customer research can be used to elicit perceptions and attitudes towards Brexit and how this may impact on their relationship with your business, services and products. It will also help guide decision-making as to any necessary changes to the way in which they are positioned and marketed.
Have there been discussions with suppliers about their Brexit preparations?
Brexit will affect supply chain and other logistics for many businesses. Areas such as contractual terms with customers and suppliers and identifying exposure to WTO duties and taxes. Also understanding alternatives for future trade options, including risk assessments, as well as ensuring that existing opportunities and processes are understood and being applied. These are all elements that can - indeed should be -started without delay.
Does your company have a senior individual leading the Brexit strategy?
Brexit will have a significant impact on businesses in the UK, EU and worldwide. The level of importance of this macro global event should be reflected in the seniority of the individual and team leading your Brexit strategy. The degree of knowledge and understanding of the process will be crucial to making the right decisions for your business. Ultimately, ownership needs to be embraced and controlled by the leadership of the organisation.
Is there a process and framework strategy to capture new opportunities arising from Brexit?
As well as having a strategy for risk mitigation, consideration should be given to developing a framework to capture new opportunities arising from the Brexit process. A focus on creating a methodology for identifying and developing opportunities can help build a more positive presentation and recognition of the benefits of Brexit for your business.
How does the business communicate to trade bodies, Government and senior influencers?
One of the challenges for businesses is getting their voice heard to help shape their future direction, as well as influence opportunities. A robust and effective Brexit Communications Plan allows the business to engage, inform and learn from a wide scope of decision makers and is invaluable in supporting your Brexit strategy.