You can’t control the Brexit process, but some things are within your power, like your location, technology, profitability and logistics. Philip Rooke, CEO of Spreadshirt, offers four tips for retailers looking to get the most out of 2017 as the UK starts the process of leaving the EU.
Brexit uncertainty will continue into 2017, but those who take action in their two years, or 500 working days til Brexit, may end up in a better situation than those who don’t.
Location – The financial cost of moving is high, but the human cost can be even higher. What happens if you move the job, but the person doing it doesn’t move? Moving will absorb a half to three-quarters of your management time and, as a result, make you less agile whilst you’re about it. So should you be looking at a physical presence in the EU, or could strategic application of satellite teams inside the EU balance Brexit and growth?
Technology – Your ecommerce market is about to get smaller, now is a good time to make sure your technology is fully-functional. Get those underlying issues sorted out so you can become stronger in your smaller market, or better at cross border business”.
Profitability – Are you lean and ready for Brexit? By cutting costs and improving processes you could still drive profits just in the UK. The British are very active online shoppers and the market is still busy; the economy grew by 0.5% in the first quarter after the referendum. The British are still buying things and they’re still going to do it online. So the question is, how to improve your profitability if scale is about to get harder?”
Logistics – In the end, cross-border issues are mostly about delivery. Delivery companies will create services for UK companies so they can deliver into a Brexited EU, but the cost of delivery will go up. So start now to optimise your shipping company spread. This planning will help when it comes to a post-Brexit deal.
By Philip Rooke
Phil is British and based in Berlin. Phil has a long history in the internet sector having been a Director at Tesco.com, iVillage, and Carlton.