Small business owners all over the country continue to worry about Brexit. Businesses in the manufacturing sector did okay for a few months while some companies with funds chose to stockpile as much as they could ahead of Brexit. However, now there’s so much uncertainty; no one really knows what will happen to the small business economy when the UK eventually leaves the EU.
In this blog article we have some Brexit-proof tips to safeguard your business so keep reading. 🙂
So what’s at stake for anyone in business in UK post Brexit?
Well, there are jobs – lots and lots of jobs. If Brexit makes life too difficult for small businesses, then many people could be out of work. We can’t predict the future, but we do know there are already some significant changes – particularly with regards to VAT on imported EU products.
Small businesses will have to pay VAT upfront on all imported goods from the EU after Brexit. Alongside this, there will be additional duty tax, plus the cost of the product itself – which could also rise. As you can imagine, this puts an increased strain on your business finances, making it harder to make the same profits as before.
New growth forecasts indicate a lack of investment in UK businesses, which could also spell trouble for small companies. The growth expectations have been revised downwards for years 2020 and 2021.
Its growth expectations for the UK in 2019 is now 1.3%, from 1.2%. But it has downgraded its growth forecast for 2020 to 1.0%, from 1.3%, and to 1.2%, from 1.4%, in 2021.
So, what can you do to safeguard your small business against the potential risks that Brexit creates?
Look At Different Supply Chains
A lot of small businesses have suppliers in EU countries, which means you’ll have to adhere to the new VAT rules in the future. This can cause cash flow problems, so you should protect against this by looking at different supply chains.
Where possible, opt for suppliers inside the UK. Not only will this avoid the VAT on imported products, but you could potentially save money by not having to transfer your payments into Euros, then back into Pounds, and so on.
Re-Assess Your Target Markets
If a lot of your sales go through the EU, then you might get hit with a decline in sales following Brexit. To safeguard this, it’s a smart idea to re-assess your target markets.
Think about who will be interested in what you offer, then try and focus on this target market within the UK. Along with this, think about international markets as well – you can still trade outside of the EU without complications.
Diversify your market away from the EU, so you’re not as severely affected when Brexit comes.
Think on the bright side; Brexit might shut down some avenues in the EU, but it could help conjure up new trade deals between the UK and other international countries.
Stay updated with any possible trade deals so you know of opportunities for your small business to take advantage of.
Make Sure You Have A Good Cash Flow
Brexit uncertainty can cause your company to slow down just a little bit. As such, it’s crucial to have a good cash flow in your business.
If you still have a good flow of money coming in, then you can prevent instances where a slow period after Brexit leaves you with lots of expenses and no money to handle them.
The best way to improve cash flow is by ensuring your clients pay you on time.
Set up a system where you get paid for jobs as soon as you do them. Also, ensure any late payments are all chased up now, so you’ve got a good flow of cash.
In summary, we can’t know for sure how things will be when the UK leaves the EU.
Early signs indicate issues for small businesses – especially with regards to VAT on imported EU products and general business investment. It’s vital you safeguard against Brexit, so use the advice above to protect your small business.
How Your Business Can Help The Planet
Climate change is real, so don’t let any politician tell you otherwise. Their denials are most likely motivated by their personal goals, not what’s right for our planet.
Forbes reported from a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that there is still optimism that the increase in global temperature can be kept to just 1.5°C, but it required a massive commitment to reducing emissions to zero by 2050.
Is Time Running Out?
Milestones needed to be met before that date to show we’re on track including the commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2016. 195 UNFCCC signed the agreement and a year later US President Donald Trump declared his intention to withdraw America, one of the world’s highest polluters.
There is a chance America’s withdrawal won’t happen as they have to stay in the agreement until November 2020 just before Trump’s first term ends, and with a new President with more realistic views on climate change they could reverse the withdrawal – fingers crossed.
What’s disappointing is the US is already acting as if it’s no longer part of the Paris Climate Agreement with rises in emissions. Most Americans believe in climate change, so have you see any notable change happening your industry?
Own Your Carbon Footprint & Change It
There are many actions businesses can take to make a difference to their carbon footprint, especially when they are taken collectively, i.e. Businesses acting together. You’ve heard the saying: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; so in this blog article, we mention some actions you can use in your own business and share your experiences to inspire your peers to join you.
The benefits are not just for our planet; there’s also a great business case for making changes too. Consider the benefits that will arise from changing your policy and use of energy, transport, and travel. Reducing costs and doing right for future generations that’s inspiring and worth sharing.
Start With A Plan
Develop a Climate Change Action Plan – and this will be a work in progress. It will take time, but you need to start somewhere and make a commitment to reaching some milestones that reduce your emissions.
Assign a team to the campaign project and choose a leader. It will surprise you just how much interest there is in doing good and how inclusion in the project will raise the overall productivity and staff satisfaction.
Open Invitation Meetings
Regular meetings with an open invitation so all workers can attend and participate in the discussion. Maybe the ideas presented will see rewards for the business, which may include customers electing to buy from your business due to its climate change policy, over your competition.
Attracting staff may become easier too as they want to get from their work than just their pay packet.
Consider your supply chain and where change can happen. You’ll be surprised where you can get a win-win, with cost savings and positive change in worker well being. Mentioned earlier in this article are areas all businesses can start on. Travel, transport, and energy-use are within the control of the business, so a commitment to use less or a different approach will reduce your carbon footprint and provide other rewards.
Where is your business using energy and where’s it coming from – i.e. the source? Consider moving using solar power and renewable energies.
Would you need your current premises if your staff could work from home and desk share when they’re in the office?
Swapping out your petrol or diesel vehicles for electric cars, and trucks.
Use technology to cut down on your business travel, and it’s carbon footprint. Chatbots, Videochat or conferencing, VOIP, are excellent tools for online meetings with clients, suppliers and for selling your services. Imagine the cost savings for a business without long-haul travel!
Climate change is real and time is running out before we experience catastrophic and devasting outcomes, with the loss of many lives. There is a lot we can control to reduce emissions and at the same time, reap the rewards for standing up and being counted as a climate-conscious enterprise.
Secrets of Good Business Management
Every entrepreneur who wants to achieve a relevant profit margin should keep in mind that the secret to success is good management. Regardless of the size of the company, it is of fundamental importance that the manager be able to integrate all of his or her personality development in order to boost growth.
A good administrator personality should keep in mind that flexibility is required to accept the constant changes that occur in the market, so it is vital to upgrade and acquire the skills needed to implement those changes within your business.
Based on this assumption, we selected a few secrets to an efficient business management that will certainly help you excel in your business. Get to know them:
Do a market study
For a venture to achieve the expected positive results, it is of the utmost importance that some positions are taken into consideration by investors. The market study emerges in this scenario with the objective of evaluating the economic viability and offering the evaluation on the effectiveness or not of the implementation of the company or the product or service in which it is wanted to invest.
In this sense, market research emerges as a great tool, since it enables the business manager to understand the operation of competing companies in terms of price, costs, payment deadlines, and thus, to be able to gather some indicators that will serve as parameters to ensure a differential and get better results.
Gain skills in business management
The competition, as well as the great instability in the market, makes it necessary for the business manager to have the skills and abilities that stand out from other entrepreneurs in the same segment.
In order for a good performance to be achieved, the administrator must acquire characteristics and postures capable of doing so if he excels and obtain the desired success for the company. We have selected some practices that will assist you in this process:
A good manager should always be looking for new ideas, new concepts and personal developments. Always be in search of information, knowledge. So stay current, make specializations, and deepen your knowledge.
In this way, you will not become obsolete and bring the innovations that your company needs to stand out from the competition.
Learn to Lead
Being a leader of a corporation carries responsibilities for which the professional is not always prepared. A true leader is not the one who gives only orders and results, but rather, the one who uses communication to get the support of the collaborators and who knows how to argue and solve conflicts in search of positive results.
Do a self-assessment
The entire process of company growth depends on business management, so make a self-assessment of the effectiveness of your contribution within the company. Also try to set personal goals to achieve the desired goals.
Managers must have broad knowledge in the processes they are managing so that they do not lose efficiency and control their execution.
Value your employees
Just as the manager’s role is fundamental to the firm’s solidity, employees have a primary role in executing actions.
It is common consensus that the valuation of employees enables the success of a business. It is up to managers to assess their potentials and motivate them so that they integrate into the ideal of that growth.
A good alternative is to maintain direct communication by emphasizing the qualities of each one, making them feel recognized for their work. Holding meetings where they can make criticisms and suggestions is also a great way to engage employees.
A company that offers good working conditions will keep the team motivated, enabling the generation of profits expected by the entrepreneur.
Invest in financial management
The actions of the financial sector of a business involve all planning and analysis regarding the company’s equity, investments, inflows and expenses. These actions have the objective of increasing stockholders’ equity and increasing the capital invested.
An efficient business management should pay particular attention to the financial managers of the company, because the lack of training of this professional can cause problems to the development of your enterprise. Among the actions of a good financial manager are:
The preparation of a balance sheet , without which it is possible to evaluate the value of the company’s net worth.
Make analysis and financial planning , bringing the possibility of projections about the future of the business.
Know where to invest the resources, so that the expected return is viable.
With all this, so that a company has effective financial management, it must be based on a plan in which goals, objectives and strategies are the pillars, enabling the reduction of risks and capital losses and reaching the goals expected by the entrepreneur.
Stay tuned to cash flow
Also included in the context of financial management, cash flow deserves special attention, because it is through this tool that we calculate capital inflows and outflows of a company, being essential for day to day business management.
Through the cash flow it is possible to know the values that the company has, as well as the possibility of future projections of the assets (assets, credits, rights) and liabilities (suppliers, loans, fiscal obligations) of the business in a certain period of time.
For this cash flow to be effective, it must be calculated daily. Only in this way is it possible to keep track of the amount of capital existing in the company, as well as its obligations.
Take care of marketing
The Positive business management is only achieved when managers acquire knowledge about the market and customers. The marketing functions within an enterprise as a wild card, identifying customer preferences and requirements and market needs.
Look at some of the marketing functions in a business:
Tracing the profile of potential customers
Assessing consumer needs and preferences is a key. With the strong competition in the business world, it becomes indispensable a tool where managers can capture the desires of customers.
One of the ways to draw this profile is through market research and also the creation of personas, which, in general, is the representation of your ideal client. In this guide , you can follow a step-by-step approach to building people efficiently.
Caring for the company’s reputation
Marketing has the function of advertising and creating actions that promote a good reputation of your company and thus, bring positive impacts to the loyalty of its customers, as well as to capture new ones.
Creation of strategic actions
It is through marketing actions that it is possible to generate new sales, new contracts. In this way, the goals of the company can be achieved. The manager must work to develop actions that take into account the challenges of the market and integrate the sectors responsible for obtaining new clients.
Pay attention to the knowledge management of a business
As important as any other sector of the company, the management of knowledge , that is, of all informational content and business documents, is not always as simple as it seems, one has to fulfill a series of organizational techniques.
The business manager should try to insert this practice within the company in order to save the search time, making the information available more quickly.
Implement a structure where physical and electronic files are arranged so as to facilitate the company’s day-to-day operations. Adopt with your employees a culture of preservation of this material.
There are several advantages to having an organized file, among them the ease in identifying the information, the agility and the convenience for the queries.
Given the competitiveness in the market, the business management that stands out is the one that has some differential to offer customers and consumers.
The art of innovation is achieved with much study, planning, analysis and refinement. Only then will you know if that project you have in mind will be feasible for your company.
Another way to implement the processes of innovation in a business is to surround yourself with people with good ideas and committed to your business.
So, let your collaborators’ creativity come out, listen to what they have to say. Motivate them, challenge them, congratulate them on results, and believe in their potential. This will bring the positive results you both expect.
At this point in the reading you must have realized that there is no magic formula for the success of an enterprise. There is a lot of work and techniques that, if followed, can make you succeed.
Also, do not forget the primordial for any company: to build your way, you will need knowledge. Research, perfect yourself, only the knowledge of the product or service you want to offer will make what your business advances.
Risks do exist, and must be taken into account, but with determination, willingness and common sense to make assertive decisions in business management processes, you will surely achieve the desired success!
Offshoring Versus Outsourcing Which Is Best For Business?
Businesses need to be competitive to make a profit so they’re always seeking solutions that reduce their overheads. Offshoring core activities is one way to reduce overheads, keep control of a business’s intellectual property and keep their data secure.
In this blog article, we look at offshoring and outsourcing and we consider if there is a right and wrong time for a business to consider either option.
There are countries that are considered the back office of major corporations located somewhere else. China, Vietnam, India are some of the nations that provide goods production and professional services for businesses located in western countries like USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. These countries are used for offshoring and outsourcing.
Is Outsourcing Another Name For Offshoring?
The short answer is no, outsourcing is quite different in its workings to offshoring. With outsourcing, your business has essentially signed a contract with a service provider to deliver the services on behalf of your business.
The similarity between the two services is the business or team providing the manufacturing or professional service is usually located out of state or in another country to that of the business.
Where in the business is full outsourcing is popular?
Server and Website Hosting is an area we’re all familiar with and most businesses outsource this service. The other areas deemed more sensitive and systems critical to a business also often outsourced are:
- Technology hardware & software
- Data communications
- Software development
- Payroll services
There is more control over the process with offshoring as the business can dictate the terms and use its own rules and systems.
The starting point is to choose where you want your business process to be carried out, i.e. in which country and area.
Setting up a team or purchasing a business in another country to roll out the service is not as challenging as it might appear as countries like those aforementioned are used to the activity.
The offshore team will work exclusively for the one business and therefore adhere to their methodology.
An example of where this activity is prevalent today is in the professional services sector. Law firms and accounting practices readily place services offshore to reduce staff costs. An Accounting firm will locate part of its practice in a country and hire qualified workers i.e. accountants who cost less than their peer in the area or country the Accounting firm is located.
Is there a right or wrong time to consider outsourcing or offshoring?
Timing Is Everything
Yes, as timing is everything especially with everyone connected online in social media.
The reputation of a business can be damaged if clients start complaining of a negative change in the service. Therefore a business needs to do a thorough analysis and weigh up the pros and cons of moving core processes or systems offshore or into the hands of another business entirely as is the way with outsourcing.
Managing the move will be challenging as people don’t like change especially if it costs them time. Just think of how annoying it is to visit a website or use the App you use regularly only to find its user interface in a new design and it’s functionality changed.
Learning takes time and requires patience so it’s important for all businesses moving to an offshoring or outsourcing model mark sure their staff and end users are managed during the transition and that their experience is satisfactory with knowledge of much better service on its way.
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