Two years after Brexit: what now for struggling businesses?

With Brexit now looking in shambles, Theresa May resigned, and businesses throughout Britain feeling the pinch of an uncertain environment, what is going to happen over the coming months and years?

  • A damaging process

There was shock and fear when the vote came down on the ‘leave’ side. Very few people had predicted the outcome. Perhaps it was that the result was so unexpected that it has had such a big effect on the psyche of the nation. Those of us running small businesses have certainly seen a change in atmosphere in the business environment.

With trade treaties and other benefits of the European Union still in place, what we’re seeing is a psychological phenomenon on a huge scale. Fear and uncertainty have created a situation where businesses are scared to invest, reluctant to take on new staff, and are unable to innovate and free the creative side of their brains.

  • Direction is needed more than ever

For businesses to change their way of thinking, there needs to be a change in attitude to start with. There are still people protesting in their millions and looking for a new vote. There are many businesses who are not being paid by their customers and are seeing longer invoice cycles due to the new business environment.

Struggling businesses need the situation to change and there to be more direction from the leadership. Compromise has been muted a lot in recent weeks, but one thing we can’t compromise on is strong leadership and a clear direction in which we are going. Whoever takes over the leadership of the country needs to state categorically what is happening next so that the uncertainty is dispelled and businesses can start planning for the future.

This whole Brexit debacle has highlighted the importance of not just making the right choice but making it correctly. Sometimes it’s less about exactly what you do and more about how you do it. The way in which Brexit has been run has caused a culture of fear and uncertainty that need not have been there if there had been more direction and decisiveness. The divisiveness came from the early stages of the process and are just grown over the last two years.

  • Opportunities for businesses

With challenging environments come opportunities. Be ready to capture customer loyalty in the exciting new online landscape that is developing. As well as engaging with the local community, you can create a buzz by bringing augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence coming into the mix, By getting your business high on Google search results, you have a competitive advantage over others.

Also, there are going to be businesses that have struggled and couldn’t make ends meet and will be leaving the industry. For those businesses that can remain strong and become more innovative in the way they do things, there are undoubtedly going to be great opportunities.

The message then is to stick in there and to continue doing the right things to provide your business with the foundation to grow as, hopefully, the leadership of Britain starts to create a more positive culture for business growth in the future.

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