Brexit along with Trump have been top of the news for some time now…so how will this affect your business?
Well this depends.
The Bank of England got it wrong, as did many economic and financial pundits, so how would I know?
Well like most I don’t know absolutely.
So what’s this article about then, if I ask a question and then answer it with more uncertainty?
I think that’s the real point, we can spend a lot of time and many spend a lot of money predicting this and predicting that, but in the end does it actually matter?
In business, it always pays to plan ahead and to plan for the ups and downs of the economy where ever you are in the world.
So if you plan for some of what has been predicted, then should it not happen you will be better off, but if it does happen, then you will be prepared and fair better.
In my opinion inflation is the biggest risk to business in the future. However, as we all know inflation is a double edged sword.
On the downside, when inflation goes up, so do interest rates. So if your business has borrowed heavily during these times of ultra low interest rates, then you need to be careful.
So what can you do to protect yourself against the worst?
Well you can fix your rate with the bank, or consider splitting the loan between a fixed element and a floating rate.
The other major risk to business, especially those that rely on imported goods, is increase costs. This is especially true for manufacturing companies where raw material prices are on the rise.
The affect of the drop in the value of Sterling has had a major affect on imported goods. For example, the white goods manufacturers put their prices up by around 10% last year, as a result of Brexit.
Commodities have been increasing in price too, which includes the cost of oil, and as we import more oil that we produce ourselves, this will affect many link costs to oil.
However, on the other side of a lower Pound is for companies that export. A weaker Pound means your goods are cheaper overseas and could encourage overseas buyers to buy more.
Another consideration post Brexit is how this will affect wages costs.
Wages will potentially be affected in two ways. The first is through inflation, Where the cost of living increases, this will have a knock-on effect on wages, when staff begin to ask for pay rises.
The second impact is what happens when our borders are ‘closed’? Well our borders will never be closed, but there will in theory be no more free movement of people across the border to Europe. This will mean that where the labour market has more flex and is more fluid.
The lack of having ease of movement could impact the supply and demand of staff within the UK.
In summary, I think there’s no doubt that the vote to leave Europe will impact businesses in the UK. However, the extent of the effect will only sohw itself over time.
Business ideas to start out – this can be difficult!
The times I have spoken to friends and colleagues who are looking for that new business idea to start a new business – oh what it would be to invent the next new widget, the next best thing.
Many people do get blocked with this and feel they need to come up with a completely new idea, which whilst this is probably the best way to make sure your business is totally unique, it is never guaranteed. Something new is just that and does not have a proven track record. The costs of market entry can also be very high, especially if you have invented something that needs to be manufactured. There are all the costs associated with patenting your idea, which is not cheap and then getting it made and then the marketing costs can be huge!
So the other way to look at starting a new business is to look at what is already successful and has a ready-made market already and start a business making or doing something that people are already doing.
You could also consider buying a business, which can save a lot of time and you know for sure this business works, as it is already selling whatever it makes.
I don’t want to take it away from you or dishearten you with this article, if you have a great business idea and want to start out with it, then there is not time like today – starting from scratch is hard, but it is possible and if you have a good idea combined with determination, then there is no reason why it shouldn’t work – look at Mr Dyson.