Dramatic government disagreements around Brexit continue to drag on. While the promise to make a deal or no-deal decision is set for October 31st many things about that date are currently unclear.
Small businesses have been experiencing major issues for a long time; yet one survey shows that only about 14 percent of small business owners have developed a plan for dealing with it. Trade is already affected, with no clear picture of the future. On one hand, turmoil between the U.S. and China is bound to go on for a very long time. On the other hand, there are signs that the U.S. and the U.K. are positioned to strike a trade deal once Brexit is complete.
Big businesses are already implementing measures to help them through whatever Brexit issues arise. Unfortunately, small companies cannot typically afford to change major business strategies on a whim. While small businesses in the tech sector continue to grow. other small businesses should examine current practices that can help them weather the continuing storm.
Take extra good care of your customers
Retaining your current customer base is vital, so earning their loyalty should be a major priority. It’s all about creating a stellar customer experience, and it involves more than responding properly to questions, addressing issues well, and being polite.
Your customers should actually notice that you treat them better than your competitors, so it’s worthwhile to do plenty of research to learn how to convey this feeling. As a general rule, the customer experience is enhanced when you make your patrons feel like you know them — and value them. This can involve anything from greeting them as old friends when they enter your establishment to making the occasional exception when they return products a few days past the deadline or need an extra week to pay their bills.
Take the time to figure out what makes your customers feel truly valued. Then, make sure that every employee understands how to incorporate it into the company culture. Especially during challenging times, everyone who uses your company can help keep it afloat. Plus, if they feel exceptionally valued, they may bring other customers to your doors as well. Good news:.You don’t have to spend much money to accomplish this; it’s more from the heart than from the wallet.
Make sure that all expenditures are necessary
Since the future of Brexit is unclear, investors are less prone to put their money into small U.K. businesses. At the same time, the drop in the Pound’s value makes every purchase more costly. In other words, our small businesses need to consider spending habits when making business decisions right now.
Whenever possible, avoid capital expenditures, and compare lease-vs.-buy costs for must-have equipment. It’s also important to think twice about small expenditures. While providing smart phones for traveling employees makes sense, most in-house team members probably don’t need them. Thanks to reliable Cloud services, you can even cut back on equipment. For example, why pay for a dedicated fax line and machine (plus maintenance) when an online fax service is more reliable, more secure, and also more organized?
Protect your top employee assets
According to a recent report, UK employee confidence in economic prospects declined 7.4 percent between the third and fourth quarters of 2018. Surprisingly, job search activity has declined by a similar amount. Even if your team wants to hang on to their jobs, however, they are still probably showing signs of uncertainty.
Times may be uncertain now, but you do not want to lose the top talent that will help your business survive now and recover when Brexit issues eventually settle. Even if you cannot afford to raise pay right now, there are many low- or no-cost ways that help you raise morale.
Be more lenient when properly-equipped employees ask to cut costs by working from home occasionally. Bring snacks and meals into the workplace to lighten the environment. Most important, be honest about some of your short-term concerns — and your visions for the post-Brexit future. You might be surprised by their outpouring of excellent ideas that will help the business through the hard times.
Brexit is just one more business issue
Even before Brexit, businesses have faced periods of uncertainty. Perhaps severe storms have devastated communities. Maybe supply shortages hit certain industries, or economic downturns span the globe. The businesses that have the ability to respond quickly are the ones that get through.
Think of Brexit as just another business issue that requires a proactive plan. It’s not too late to address details that can help you weather any storm and emerge victorious.