Brexit planning – Wait until after the vote

Brexit planning right now (pre 23rd June 2016) is a waste of time.

Not my words but those of the boss of one of Ireland’s larger companies who earns a large slice of their sales from Irish-UK trade and tourism.

Most business owners already had enough to worry about before Brexit came along.

The possibility of the UK voting to leave the EU in next month’s referendum is drawing a varied range of responses from Irish business leaders on their intentions to deal with it. Practically all agree a Brexit would be extremely bad for many sections of the Irish economy. But aside from appealing to all UK voters to remain in the EU their immediate plans of actions are quite varied. We all hope the UK voters will decide to stay in the EU but if they don’t then what should Irish businesses do?

The boss of Irish Ferries (Eamonn Rothwell) says “it’s a waste of time preparing for Brexit at the moment as it might take two years to conclude a deal on the exact terms and many more years to arrange trade agreements between the UK and EU”.
My own view is that any business planning any long-term investment in the UK will delay it until the vote is over and review their intentions if the vote is in favour of a Brexit.

If Brexit happens then all businesses need to evaluate the potential impact on their sales, customers, suppliers etc.

More important than spending time thinking about Brexit right now the real issues that should concern most business owners at the moment are more likely to include:
• Getting sufficient sales at the right margin – not just more sales!
• Getting paid on time.
• Ensuring their business is as cost competitive as possible in a climate with costs increasing in many areas.
• Ensuring their business has adequate funding and the appropriate mix of funds.
• Ensuring their products/services are keeping pace with changes in consumer trends, tastes and preferences.
• Reviewing the activities of competitors and devising plans to keep ahead of these.
• Reviewing their product development plans.
• Exploring potential export markets.
• Ensuring their employees are properly motivated to give their business a competitive advantage.

When all of the above are fully looked after the Brexit issue might take some consideration but only if the ‘Vote to leave’ is carried on June 23rd.