Although the United Kingdom voted itself out of the European Union in June of 2016, it’s still unclear what the effects of Brexit will be in Britain, the EU as well as the rest of the world. And that is not to mention the wide reaching impact it’s bound to have on multinational business and finance.
Some London-based companies are exploring new office spaces, investments and trade deals are on hold all while the British government is racing to make plans for the exit, which will be finalized in the Spring of 2019.
Whether or not you have offices in Britain, your international organization is going to see some changes that have to be planned for. It’s difficult to prepare for the ramifications of Brexit when no one exactly knows what those ramifications will be. But there are still several important steps to take in order to be fully ready for whatever lies ahead.
Take Stock of Your Risk
The first step to being prepared for Brexit is to have a clear picture of all potential risks. At this time it’s important for businesses to be able to answer questions like how many of their employees are British citizens or how much product goes in and out of the UK. It will also be a good idea to check in with your company’s compliance procedures and policies. Make sure they account for this upcoming period of radical change.
Start gathering information now, and update that information regularly.
In addition, this also means fully evaluating all of your multinational business’s partnerships with third-party suppliers. This includes not just procedures and assets that could be affected, but also their overall risk-preparedness and contingency plans. Just as you are getting yourself ready, everyone you choose to work with should be doing the same.
Your Multinational Business Needs Stability
Growth and development are always important in the corporate world. However in times of potentially disruptive change, it’s also important to meet those changes from a place of stability and security.
As 2019 approaches, focus on establishing current relationships and building upon existing assets rather than on aggressive growth and acquisition. When the full ramifications of Brexit hit, you’ll be able to address potential risks or problems more easily instead of trying to stretch too few resources too thin.
Always Communicate With Your Clients
These are not uncertain times for just you and your multinational business, your clients and their own organizations are trying to grapple with those same uncertainties. Being able to keep up a stream of steady communication with your clients all around the world will go far in allaying any fears on both sides.
Tell your clients about changes in the industry and the business climate through a current and active social media presence. And keep them up to speed on your thoughts and your Brexit contingency plans through more traditional means like email.
Don’t leave clients guessing as to your positions and intentions. Being open and ready to talk will make everyone involved feel much better.
Brexit And Beyond
The UK’s divorce from the European Union is not the first political event to have unpredictable effects on multinational business and trade. Nor will it be the last. In the age of globalization, events in one place will inevitably ripple out to the rest of the world. Having complete knowledge of your risks, prioritizing stability and client communication can make you and your business truly ready for anything.