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26 September 2016

160: Britain needs you!

There is no doubt that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union shocked many. But these initial reactions are now giving way to a focus on developing and growing the UK economy both now and post-Brexit. One clear priority is to help businesses to export more.

It is unclear what the economic implications of the Brexit vote will be. So far the indicators are holding up well but the Government is taking nothing for granted. Whilst the process of Brexit will be complicated, the aimed for outcomes are much more straight-forward. The UK needs to continue to attract inward investment and needs to be selling its goods and services abroad.

The Government wants that strengthening of the economy to start now. It cannot wait until a Brexit deal is done. As the Prime Minister, Theresa May, made clear to the G20 recently:

‘Britain is open for business.’

Part of the Prime Minister’s vision is for SMEs to help the country be “expansive and outward looking” and for Government to encourage a “dynamic entrepreneurial spirit”. So the SME community is central to ensuring the country’s economic stability and growth.

What the Government needs businesses to do is to be clear but why should they be quite so attracted to this export-driven future of the world?

There are, of course, the immediate and obvious benefits to profits and the future stability that brings. This is especially the case for those firms operating in the setting of a family business or micro organisation.

But there are also consequential benefits for local communities and healthier firms offer better future job prospects as well. Many businesses have placed an emphasis on training and bringing in younger members of the team in recent years to help reinforce stability and growth for the future.

The role that exporting can play in expanding the networking opportunities for businesses is being more fully understood by many now as well. The focus in the past has often been on getting to know more people to help further expand the potential market. That is, of course, critical but there is now more to it than that.

Investment opportunities are more global, potentially allowing businesses to receive new funds but also get involved in new ventures as well. Enhanced networks can bring new ideas about ways to conduct business which can lead to innovation and new product ideas.

Networking in an export environment is not just a one-way street. It is about sharing the potential opportunities as well, for instance with those in your own supply chain. It is by working together in this way that we can strengthen exports but also help businesses to thrive as well.

None of this will happen by accident and the Government is open to ideas about the development of the economy, post-Brexit. As Mrs May has said:

‘It’s really important for us to hear your voice and be able to talk to you about what you see as the issues that need to be addressed but crucially where you see the opportunities.’

So there is a need for engagement to help ensure that the shape of the UK’s future fits in with the needs of businesses, particularly where it comes to exporting; the sorts of trade deals needed for a thriving export driven economy.

The opportunities for the UK economy and for your business are there to be grasped.

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