Brian MacAuley has predicted no business in Northern Ireland will remain unaffected by Brexit but he has some advice on how to soften the blow.
He said: “There are some sensible steps that businesses can take at this stage in the process and which could even soften the blow if we end up with a ‘hard Brexit’.”
• A ‘War Fund’: Whatever happens in the future, change costs money. Businesses that start building a reserve now for that rainy Brexit day will be able to adapt quicker to changes than those businesses hoping for a soft Brexit.
• Human Resources: Some businesses will be employing staff that hold passports from other EU countries. Others will be hoping to recruit from EU countries. If it is a critical part of your business, you should start considering what you would do if recruitment was hindered by more regulations and explore options to mitigate against it. For example, I know of some manufacturing businesses that are considering increasing their automation and reducing their dependency upon personnel. Others are exploring the potential of relocating part of their business in an EU country.
• Logistics: If there are border restrictions post-Brexit, consider how you will get your products to European markets or how you will procure materials from an EU state?
• Currency: We are all well aware of the dangers of currency fluctuations so it is important to have a system to watch for changes in the Euro, hedging against changes and ensuring that the time between quoting and receiving payment is kept to a minimum.
Information on local business training events and sources of assistance in the Mid Ulster area can be found on Dungannon Enterprise Centre’s website, at www.dungannonenterprise.com and via their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.