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Brexit: How to prepare for uncertainty

There is little doubt that Britain leaving the European Union (EU) is going to have consequences for the financial health of the UK (and the world) for the foreseeable future. But what does this mean for you and your business? Undoubtedly times are going to be tough, with analysts in the City predicting economic doom and gloom.

But before you batten down the hatches and prepare for Brexit Armageddon, there are a couple of things you can do to help your business maintain stability and growth for the foreseeable future.

Setting the scene

At the start of the Conservative conference on the 2nd of October 2016, British Prime Minister Theresa May sent her strongest indication yet, that the government will be seeking a “Hard Brexit”. It’s a settlement that sacrifices access to the single market and prioritises stricter immigration controls.

This triggered a wave of uncertainty from investors throughout the first week of October, as shares in UK companies were being rapidly offloaded. It had an impact on the value of sterling, which has plummeted by 17.1% since the June 23rd referendum. Chancellor Phillip Hammond sought to re-assure investors, but the pound has continued to be routed in numerous markets.

This ambiguity looks set to continue for the foreseeable future as the UK government manoeuvers itself towards the March 2017 triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

What does this all mean?

It means the UK will be entering a period of uncertainty. Investors notoriously loathe uncertainty and this can create periods of volatility where trading of currency and shares happens with increased frequency. Businesses may abscond from the UK as a consequence and interest rates may fluctuate.

In short, we don’t really know what’s going to happen because nobody has ever attempted to leave the EU.

What can I do?

Start planning for the future. Perhaps it’s time to think about looking at various aspects of your business and see what needs to be altered and how you can drive down costs?

#1 – Streamlining your IT operation

For SMEs, outsourcing your IT is a cost effective measure. In our blog last month, we talked in detail about the benefits of outsourcing your IT. One of the standout points, is the amount of money it saves businesses. 46% of managed IT service users have cut their annual IT costs by 25 percent or more, according to a study conducted by CompTIA. You’ll only pay for what you need, when you need it. And it’ll save you cash on costly training and recruitment processes.

#2 – Time for ERP

Now is probably the best time to implement an ERP. While the initial outlay may seem like a great deal, the Return on Investment (ROI) will pay dividends in the future. You’ll centralise key business functions like finance, HR, inventory and many other features. It’ll save you time faffing around with multiple systems, outdated processes and repetitive tasks. How you ask? Have a read our ERP tips piece. We’ll help you get hitched with the right ERP for you!

#3 – Time for CRM

CRM is a great option too. Microsoft have really been gaining momentum with their Dynamics CRM offering lately, as it’s been named as a “Leader” in two separate categories of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. Things like the Spring 2016 Wave released a whole host of new features and have greatly expanded Dynamics CRMs functionality. Don’t know anything about CRM? We’ve got you covered!

#4 – Time to embrace the cloud

If it’s possible, perhaps it’s time for your business to move to the cloud? Whilst some organisations are hamstrung by obligation to comply with regulations preventing them from utilising the cloud, your business may not have this issue. And it’s the best possible time to be relocating to the cloud, with Microsoft opening two brand new datacentres in the UK this month! Now your data will be held on UK shores, giving you quicker response times and compliance with UK data storage regulations.

#5 – The Wildcard

If all of this doesn’t sound interesting, then perhaps Dynamics 365 will? It’s a combination of points 2-4, with added AI integration. The AI is the real superstar of the package. Cortana (The AI) will learn from your data and interactions and make suggested insights. It’ll be of benefit for sales and marketing as they’ll be able to gain additional insight and utilise that information when engaging with customer/prospects.

It’s truly an exciting product. Details are scarce at the moment, but with a November 1st release, expect more information to become available very soon. We’re keeping track of it all in our Dynamics 365 blog.

Wrapping it all up

It’s important that you consider some of the information we’ve shared in this article. Taking action now will help your business to weather the Brexit storm. Like we said a bit earlier, nobody knows what the long term effect of Brexit will be. Surely, taking preparatory measures in the event of a worst case scenario is the best thing to do?

We’re interested to hear what you’re all planning to do in the wake of the UKs decision to leave the European Union, so get in touch with us in the comments below. Or message us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

*Advantage will not be commenting on the outcome of the June 23rd Referendum. We’ve remained politically neutral since we were founded and will continue to maintain this stance for the foreseeable future.