It’s been 2 weeks since we woke up to the news that the UK had voted to leave the EU. Since then, there have been many predictions about what this might mean for small businesses, much of it guesswork. To save you wading through the conjecture in the numerous Brexit blogs out there, we thought it would be useful to share 5 practical things that the smart businesses are doing right now.\
We’d love to know your thoughts on what your business will be doing post Brexit – please add your comments at the bottom of this blog.
1) Increase communication
In times of uncertainty, it’s essential that you increase the levels of communication with everyone connected to your business – internally and externally. Now is the time to free up your diary to speak to key clients, suppliers & partners. It’s also a great opportunity to meet more regularly with your team, who will be looking to you for leadership, something that is explored in this interesting article from Martin Palethorpe on how we can think more clearly in turbulent times.
If you provide a business service to your clients, they will be looking to you for leadership too – how can you help them in the post-Brexit world? Don’t forget, the key to great communication is listening, so now is the perfect time to understand where they’re at as a business – what challenges and opportunities are they facing right now?
Who are the top 5 people that you can pick up the phone to today to ask them how they’re getting on?
2) Focus on leading indicators
It’s more important than ever to look ahead and, to do this effectively, it’s essential to have leading indicators on your dashboard. Remember, money in your bank is a lagging indicator (an indicator of events that have already taken place). A leading indicator will give you an idea of what is going to happen in the future.
A good example of a leading indicator is the value of your sales pipeline (proposal value combined with the percentage likelihood of success), but we’re seeing the most successful businesses go even deeper and seeking to measure conversations, new connections, number of networking events attended, website traffic, conversion rates – all the little things that add up to a healthy influx of new clients. Are you keeping track of these leading indicators in your business?
What are the 5 biggest influencers of your future success and how can you start measuring these in more detail?
3) Get even better at managing cash
There’s never a time when managing cash isn’t important, but now is a great time to revisit how you can get even better at this. Whatever the future holds, you’re going to be in a much stronger position if you’ve got robust systems in place for collecting cash. Here are 5 pieces of technology that will help:
Float – A simple cash flow forecasting tool that will take the guesswork out of managing your cash.
Chaser – Setup personalised email chasers for clients that need a little extra nudge before paying you. Chaser automates what was once a manual task, which means that you can get paid whilst you sleep.
GoCardless – Direct Debit just got a lot simpler thanks to GoCardless. More and more businesses are realising that there is no better way of collecting cash from clients.
MarketInvoice – Allowing businesses to raise funds in 24 hours against unpaid invoices.
Xero – We’d like to think that most people reading this will already be using Xero, but if you’re not, now is a great time to start using it to get greater visibility on your finances. If you’d like a demo of what Xero could do for you, please get in touch.
Which of these can you implement tomorrow that will make the biggest difference to your business?
4) Look for opportunities
Of all the Brexit articles out there, this article from Matt Davies from Agency Core was particularly interesting as he talked about the opportunities now facing UK businesses that have the ability to export. All of a sudden, your products & services have become around 10% cheaper to anyone trading in Euros or Dollars. For the creative industry in particular this is interesting news. With our creative output revered around the world, I’ve spoken to two agency owners this week who are actively seeking new work from overseas. They are not alone – in our recent survey of the creative sector, 15% of agencies said that they were seeking more overseas work from their current location, whilst 9% were planning on opening an office overseas. Expect these numbers to rise the next time we conduct the survey in early 2017. Will your business be one of those that takes advantage of this opportunity? And it’s not just the currency fluctuations that provide opportunities. Whenever there is change, opportunities open up. Different products & services become more popular and there are opportunities to reposition what you do to make it more relevant. Adaptability is key here, and being open to spotting the opportunities in the first place. They’re all around us – we just need to seek them out.
What can you do today to start exploring this – what meeting can you book, what phone call can you make?
5) Get back to basics
Whilst much has changed politically over the past 2 weeks, the fundamentals of business haven’t. Whatever happens over the next few years, the businesses that will thrive will be those that get the basics right. Keeping things simple and focusing on the stuff that really makes a difference is easier said than done, so here’s a quick checklist to help you get back to basics with your business:
Revenue What 3 things can you do right now to increase sales? How can you generate additional fees from your existing clients?
Profit Which products & services make you the most money? Use real numbers – don’t guess! What can you do to increase the profit margins you make?
People What practical things can you do to better manage your key people? Check you’ve got the strongest team possible – If all your team left tomorrow and re-applied for their jobs – which ones would you re-hire?
Systems Where are there opportunities to simplify processes within your business? What technology can you implement that will make your business more efficient? If you’d like to chat about how your business can be one of the winners post Brexit, call the office on 01264 721 670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re here to help.