Article written by Jon Swallow, Director, Jordon
Having spent the last three years studying Brexit and trying to understand its implications in the context of our business and industry, you come to realise there’s a point when you’re done. Brexit can’t be second guessed, all you can do is prepare, monitor and like a ship on rough seas, try and steer your way through it, wave after seemingly endless wave.
As a transport company, we had to monitor not just our industry, but others too, because their resilience matters to us. For companies there are so many questions, such as how much resource do you throw at it? In what direction? What if it’s just you? How do you know if you’ll be affected? So many questions with seemingly so many potential answers.
Last Friday on a fresh, cold morning at 7.30am I addressed business owners at a special Brexit event about how we approached Brexit. The event was held by East Suffolk Council and The Chamber Of Commerce and in preparation I had to go back to 2016, to the day of the referendum result. I talked extensively about the initial shock and then the action we took over the next few years.
Could we capitalise on it? Yes we could go full-on global. But we didn’t. The concerns started to appear with Sterling tumbling, sporadic trading patterns, negative sentiment from suppliers and multiple fronts aligning in front of us to give us a real Brexit horror show.
A strategy was required quickly to see us through and rather than waiting, we embraced Brexit wholeheartedly and made it our own. Whatever happened, we would be there for our customers trying to do as much of the dirty work for them as possible. Their success through Brexit mattered to us. In the main we offered simplified advice, kept them updated, created documents, visits onsite, looking at options and scenarios and passing consultants their way if required.
With such a pro-active mindset we became empowered and so did our customers and suppliers, safe in the knowledge someone was looking out for them.
After the Chamber talk we took a Q&A session which proved very interesting how different businesses were still affected by the lack of clarity.
As we now enter the Brexit end game we will be upping the ante using our Jordon TV, the home of Brexit information on YouTube. Here we will issue guidance which we produce for the channel and also collect independent videos for further perusal.
Our wish, should we Brexit, is that we get a staged implementation period after the FTA has been agreed (should it be agreed that is). Without this we are in danger of repeated problems which we’ve seen with no-deal planning.
Fingers crossed that we manage to achieve the impossible, a Brexit that works, and works well.