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55% say Brexit has made no difference to their business…so far

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In the latest UK200Group blog post Martin Clapson, Managing Director of Price Bailey discusses the results of their recent 'Inside the Minds of Business Leaders' report.

Martin Clapson
While Brexit and its likely outcomes for the UK as a whole looms large in the national debate, the decision makers of businesses surveyed by Price Bailey in a recent report appear to be shrugging off the doubt and negativity surrounding it.

Every business would like the clarity and certainty that comes with knowing how the wider economy will fare and what the government of the day will do. In reality, no business ever really gets it. The same applies for Brexit. Of course, businesses would like an idea of what the effects of Brexit are but no one can know for sure.

In our recent interactive report, “Inside the Minds of Business Leaders” we uncovered some telling statistics about how Brexit is affecting businesses in Norfolk, Cambridge, Hertfordshire and London.

Brexit remains the stuff of news headlines that, so far, is having little or no direct impact on these businesses.

• More than half (55%) of decision makers say that so far it has made no difference to their
business
• A third (35%) say they have seen some negative impacts
• Less than half (44%) expect some negative impacts in 12 months’ time. However, just 13%
expect the impact to be positive
• 73% say a soft Brexit would be preferable for their own business, while 15% would prefer a
hard Brexit

Brexit is not yet a top concern for most.

• Only a quarter (26%) identified Brexit in their top three business concerns
• 31% expect benefits from Brexit for their business in five years’ time while 32% expect
negative outcomes

Many will have regretted the vote to leave: most bosses were ‘remainers’ (71% thought the UK was better off being inside the EU) but few now want to revisit the arguments – when asked what one thing the government could do to support their business, just 7% propose negotiating to somehow keep the UK inside the EU. This suggests they take a pragmatic approach – treating the world as it is rather than how they wish it were.

The research also paints a picture of businesses that, rather than worry about matters beyond their control, are instead focusing on the opportunities in front of them. The decision makers and bosses in the report show that they are out there in their individual markets confidently working to outsmart and outgrow their competition and not letting gloom or uncertainty hold them back.

Perhaps most telling is their short versus medium-term outlook. A third think Brexit will have a negative impact in the short term, but a third think it will be positive in the long term.

This suggests they are more than willing to work with the new post-Brexit reality and exploit the opportunities that arise from it, and so outperform less able and often larger rivals, who will be slower to respond to the new competitive landscape.

To find out more you can view the Inside the Minds of Business Leaders interactive report where we go into further details on business growth, planning, exporting and well being.


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