With just 200 days to go until Brexit, only 59 per cent of UK SMEs admit to having made any preparations for the UK leaving the European Union.
The new research, published by foreign investment advisers OCO Global, shows that whilst over two-fifths of UK SMEs have not made any preparation for Brexit, the levels of preparation are even more concerning when comparing businesses that export versus those that operate domestically. Almost 73 per cent of SMEs that currently export have made preparations in their business, while only 33 per cent of domestic-only businesses have sought to ready themselves.
There are also different levels of preparedness across sectors, the report reveals, with IT, business services and construction being the most prepared. However, the hospitality & leisure, professional services and transport are much less prepared.
With the Government recently launching its new Export Strategy, designed to make Britain a “21st century exporting superpower”, businesses have indicated key areas that they need support when trying to export: Access and introductions to potential customers (26 per cent), market information (22 per cent) and in-market presence and support (22 per cent).
Gareth Hagan, Executive Director of OCO Global, comments: “There is a clear divergence between those businesses that are already trading overseas versus those that only operate domestically on preparing for Brexit. Exporting businesses are clearly on the front foot. These SMEs are the businesses that are looking at the challenges and opportunities associated with Brexit and are taking action. However, businesses that only operate domestically are putting their futures at risk by not putting in place measures to protect them from a Brexit fallout.”
As we countdown to Brexit, it is essential that businesses put in place measures to help them adapt to the market changes. At Beavis Morgan, our specialist advisers to SMEs are able to assist with all aspects of business performance including putting adequate measures in place to protect the health of your business, both now and for the future.