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Brexit – Business plan review

A business should carry out a comprehensive business-wide review, before deciding how to approach, and prioritise, actions to deal with the aftermath of Brexit. Find out how to go about this.

Following Brexit, businesses in the UK will face changes in their positioning and trading relationship with the EU. Consequently, they need to review their current position, consider the implications of Brexit and plan for multiple scenarios. This approach will enable businesses to understand and minimise the impact of the UK’s departure on their day-to-day operations and identify potential opportunities that may be available both before and after Brexit.

Firstly, a business should carry out a comprehensive business wide review, before deciding how to approach, and prioritise, actions to deal with the aftermath of Brexit.

Top Tip

  • Persuade senior management and investors to prioritise a Brexit review. 

 Review the existing business plan and strategy

Businesses should review their existing business plan before starting the review, consider existing assumptions in light of potential opportunities and threats from various Brexit scenarios, and prioritise key areas to focus on.

Businesses that do not have an existing plan should understand and document their critical success factors.

Top Tips

  • Ensure that senior management have reviewed the existing business plan and its assumptions.
  • If you do not have an existing plan, make sure that you understand the critical success factors of the business.
  • Identify the assumptions and critical success factors that may be impacted by Brexit to help focus the review process.

Plan for a variety of different scenarios

Businesses need to devise and revise their business plan now. Scenario planning is key, enabling a business to prepare for a variety of outcomes. Planning for different scenarios will provide a structure for the review process.

With continuing uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU in relation to trade, customs, tariffs and borders, businesses need to consider a plan that will identify and take into account both the risks and opportunities associated with Brexit.

Opportunities could include access to new markets and increased international sales, whereas potential risks include new compliance requirements and a slowdown in the supply chain due to the necessary checking of goods. At this stage of the process the scenarios should be set by senior management.

Top Tips

  • Identify a range of scenarios.
  • Consider whether the scenarios consider both the risks and opportunities associated with Brexit.

Lead the Brexit review from the top down

Once the initial business plan has been reviewed, you can start to consider how to execute your Brexit review.

To deliver this successfully, senior stakeholders within the business should communicate the importance of the Brexit review throughout the business. One person or a team of people within the business should be tasked with leading the review and collating input from the operational team in a way designed to minimise the impact of the review process on the operational business.

Getting buy in from senior management will highlight the importance of your Brexit strategy to the company, and create opportunities for input and advice from those most closely aligned to the overall business strategy.

Top Tips

  • Assign a person or team with sufficient seniority and capability to manage the business’s response to Brexit.
  • Ensure that the selected person or team have enough capacity to manage the review so that the impact on the day-to-day operations of the business is minimal.
  • Ensure the importance of the Brexit strategy has been communicated across the whole business.

Additional resources

Other guides in this series