Brexit; A couple of weeks on
In June, the UK decided to leave the European Union in a historic referendum. The outcomes for a vote either way were unclear but now, two weeks later, things are begining to emerge. Leaving aside the fact that most of the key politicians involved are now either jostling for position, or left in a wilderness, the rest of us are having to learn what life now looks like.
However, there are some signs of change on the horizon. Fluctuations in the pound have been the story of many headlines (Telegraph) so the banks are releasing some money for business lending (BBC) to ensure that money keeps moving. The value of the pound has affected prices, with food manufacturers amongst others being hit (BBC Food Programme).
Until the negotiation start properly, the plain fact is that we won't know what will happen and when. However, there are things that businesses could do to start preparing. We've laid out three ideas here:
Know your Supply Chain: Sounds easy, but if you know the supply chain that you operate in, you will be better placed to understand the impacts that any changes in policy or legislation could bring about. Even companies who work UK-UK could be affected if their suppliers are importing products from abroad. Depending on buying cycles, and how far ahead prices are determined, you could manage serious changes more effectively if you are on top of them.
Consider your Customer: Many organisations operate in a linear fashion - they make or sell something, then make or sell lots more things to other people. A move from a product based business to a service based business could reap untold rewards. Many examples exist where organisations have improved thier bottom line in this way - for example, Rolls Royce and their now famous - Power by the Hour (click here for a podcast). In simple terms, the products remain your property and your customers buy a service contract from you.
Diversify: You've heard the messages to farmers over the years - Diversify your enterprise!!. Diversification can take many forms; from adding new products and services to your range, opening up your service to new markets, or innovating your products and services using new technologies and materials. For a refreshing change, take a look at this case study by the St. Austell Brewery as they experiment with new flavours in thier batch brewery. Some of these flavours are inspired from a partnership with the Eden Project, located nearby (St. Austell Brewery Website)
It's important to add that these projects are not caused by Brexit, but they are good examples of where a company has acted in a way synonomous with a new paradigm called the Circular Economy. In the Circular Economy, greater levels of resource efficiency and sustainable growth can be achieved by looking at the issues discussed above. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be writing more about it.
We are not claiming to have any involvement in the projects linked in this blog-post, nor can we be held responsible for any external content, but we're impressed by them and hope it starts you thinking about the sustainability of your business in the years to come.