Featured Reading: SMEs post Brexit
UK SMEs Looking to Expand Throughout Brexit
Despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations predicted to disrupt a lot of SMEs and provide countless challenges, there are many looking for opportunities to expand during these times. Various factors will impact upon how easy it will be to grow during Brexit negotiations and after the UK has officially left the EU. There are many legal changes and Brexit terms and conditions which a lot of SMEs hope to see pass through to enhance their expansion potential.
The UK and all businesses operating from the country must still comply with all EU laws during the negotiating period. This means that any new laws the EU introduces during that time will have to be implemented as well. Only when the UK officially leaves the EU will EU laws no longer apply to the country and its businesses.
Plans are already underway to create a new set of laws replacing all EU laws, covering everything from workers’ to consumer rights and many more. These will be a mixture of scrapping, amending, improving and creating new laws. For SMEs, it will be areas such as workers’ rights, financial laws and any other area of business law that is affected which will bear the greatest importance.
Brexit Trade Terms and Conditions
Access to the single market and new trade deals are two of the main areas the majority of SMEs believe the government should prioritise during Brexit negotiations, according to a post-referendum survey. Continued access to the single market will be of great benefit for any SME looking to expand abroad, with the free movement of goods and people this provides across EU nations.
Trade deals with non-EU countries, or other EU nations if continued access to the single market is not granted, are also essential for businesses hoping to grow. There is a fear that outside of the EU high trading costs will be introduced for companies to continue trading with existing partners in Europe, which new trade deals should help avoid.
New laws and deals will also impact upon recruitment, a key area for any company hoping to grow. Research has found that searches for jobs in the UK from the EU were down 18% for the first three months of 2017, with industries such as hospitality and technology finding it harder to recruit and grow.
A weakened pound and ongoing uncertainty has made it less attractive for EU workers to work in the UK too. For any SME, after Brexit if access to the single market is taken away, it will be even harder to recruit from Europe, leading many businesses to miss out on some of the best talent.
Being careful with SME finances is advisable to stay safe during the uncertain times around Brexit. Cutting unnecessary costs such as overheads, excessive transport charges and more will help SMEs keep on top of their funds and build profits to expand. Rather than buying a brand new office, using serviced offices in London as and when required maintains that professional element without paying for annual rental costs, for example.
There will be many opportunities for SMEs to expand during and after Brexit, as long as business owners retain a smart strategy.