22 Aug 2018

How should UK businesses develop a Brexit strategy?

How should UK businesses develop a Brexit strategy?


Brexit comment from Amanda Sizer Barrett MBE

Director General of the Gardenex and PetQuip associations

(Gardenex and PetQuip will be hosting the International Buyers' Centre at Glee 2018)

How should UK businesses develop a Brexit strategy?

Brexit Day on 29th March 2019 is only a matter of months away, and as yet the negotiations between the EU and the UK government have not provided any clarity; indeed, institutions, politicians, businesses and consumers seem to be adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

It's an ocean in which everyone appears out of their depth and there are countless shoals on which businesses in particular feel they could be shipwrecked.  After all, most companies in the sectors in which we operate aren't multi-nationals with countless resources to bring to bear on the innumerable ‘What Ifs' that everyone is wrestling with.

The Federation of Garden & Leisure Manufacturers Ltd is working hard on behalf of its members to gather as much tangible information about the possible implications of the deal's outcome as possible. Once the EU and UK stance becomes clearer, in the early New Year we will be assembling a programme of practical help, support and advice in which we will be inviting members and colleagues across the industry to participate.

In the meantime, Gardenex and PetQuip have provided its members with some of the business areas that Brexit may affect which firms need to start making plans for.  It's not an exhaustive list but a prompt sheet to consider in the light of individual companies' own businesses, which they can use to identify the main areas where they can begin to prepare for the outcome, whatever shape Brexit actually takes.

It may seem a Herculean task but broken down into separate areas, this exercise will help member companies and their teams find some clarity as to the potential paths ahead.

Following on from the work involved in implementing the new GDPR regulations, companies will understandably feel beleaguered and that in Brexit planning, more precious resources are being directed yet again away from new investment, sales and innovation: but it's a truism that forewarned is forearmed.

The Federation will be playing its part in tracking the progress of the twists and turns of the tortuous negotiations.  As well as producing a packed day of help and advice at our not-to-be-missed Future for International Trade conference in early 2019, in the interim we will be working with a leading firm of solicitors to offer our member companies an on-line Brexit Impact Analysis. This will guide companies along the right channels of action to ensure they are prepared for the springboard of Brexit Day itself and the transitional agreement beyond.

Most importantly, businesses need to hold their nerve because it is more evident than ever that firms that trade internationally are more resilient and more profitable. Now is the time to keep close to your international customers and reassure them of your continued commitment to international trade.

The Gardenex and PetQuip teams will be available on the International Buyers' Centre at Glee 2018 throughout the show to meet with existing member companies and other UK companies who are not yet members but are looking for advice on exporting. We will provide details of the wide range of business-generating services available from the two associations.  Visiting companies will receive early notifications of business initiatives, events and potential cash funding opportunities for exporters over the coming 12 months.

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