Brexit and your business

I am hosting a small number of in depth 1-2-1 strategy sessions at the IoD to help firms plan for Brexit however, if you can’t get make the sessions or don’t sign up in time to bag one of the spots then this three stage plan will set you on the right track. For more information on the strategy sessions please click here.

Ten days after the referendum result emerged in favour of Brexit the principle certainty facing mostorganisations (and by implication recruiters) is uncertainty.

While it may be hard to know the impact of Brexit on your business, that does not mean that you can afford to take a wait and see approach while the dust settles otherwise cash flow may rapidly become an issue.

Stage 1 - Scenario planning

It’s time to remap supply and demand for your market.

Speak with your clients to understand how they think Brexit will impact their hiring strategies, where they expect to make redundancies or stop hiring and where they imagine they are going to need talent. Ask them about the short term and the long term, though many will as yet be uncertain about the long term.

From a candidate perspective examine whether Brexit is likely to make an impact to the availability of talent in the market.

Stage 2 - Be cash flow cautious

Cash is the lifeblood of any recruitment business. Brexit means you need to focus on credit control – prompt invoicing and a focus on ensuring clients pay your terms wherever possible will put you in the best position to thrive.

Financial planning will also be more important than it has ever been. Produce best and worst case scenarios for the next six to twelve months with monthly cash flow statements. Avoid unnecessary investments that do not help support revenue, growth or profit until the future becomes more certain.

Your new cash flow plans will need reviewing more frequently than ever before.

Stage 3 – Take hard decisions now

The most important thing is your business continuing to operate. Now is not the time to carry passengers who have and are continuing to consistently underperform in the hope that they live up to their potential (as long as you have given them the support and tools needed to do their job effectively, such as training). If your core markets look like they may become significantly harder consider investing in new markets that will be less impacted by (or even benefit from) the current uncertainty in the short term e.g. if permanent candidates are hesitating to move then a focus on contract/temp/freelance/interim roles may make sense.

Brexit may or may not make growing your business harder, however recruitment companies who make smart decisions and work hard will continue to thrive.

For more information on my free 1-2-1 strategy sessions at the IoD to help firms best plan for Brexit please click here.

Alex Arnot