Yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to help British small businesses to not only deal with the post-Brexit EU funding cuts, but to thrive in post-Brexit Britain as the “backbone of the country.” Will her promises hold water? Or is this just a statement intended to quell [well-founded] fears amongst SMEs?
In June, the UK voted to leave the EU (European Union). Chaos ensued, fuelled by the negativity of those who believed the wrong decision was made. More trade independence would be enjoyed, but the umbrella protection and funding of the EU would be gone.
We founded the Brain Britain movement, maintaining that no matter your personal feelings about Brexit, there was only one way to focus for brand success: Forward. We said that opportunities for global branding would be abundant, that brand owners should get to work polishing their brands for a bigger audience, and that chances for better visibility would abound.
It seems that the rest of the UK is coming around—meaning that if you’ve already started getting your brand ready for global introduction, you’re on the right track. If you haven’t yet started, it would be best to get going without delay.
Now that the EU funding cuts are closer to reality, the negativity monster has again reared its ugly head. For those of you who are hearing more and more about how bad this is for Britain, consider these truths:
- There will be massive export opportunities. More than 30 countries, including Canada, The U.S. and Australia have already expressed interest in trading with Britain, which has, by the way, the world’s fifth-largest economy. That’s 30+ countries that may contain massive numbers of YOUR ideal clients—more like you already have or more ideal than you those you already have.
- Interest rates have been lowered. This means getting a small business loan for the purposes of global re-branding, marketing strategy re-vamp and/or visual brand identity overhaul will be more affordable. This is the time to make investments in your new global brand, and a business loan can help you to do that.
- The prime minister is giving small businesses the opportunity to speak up and to be heard. This has not been offered to this extent in the past, so now is your chance. Be a positive thought leader. Change the way small businesses are viewed. Prove that you don’t have to own a corporation to be a global, influential brand.
- Lots of business owners are distracted with analysing the prime minister’s words. British business owners are focussed on the negatives and predicting an economic crash. Whilst they are distracted with this, you can heed the advice of the Brand Britain movement and grasp the opportunities they’re overlooking. Remember the recession of 2008? It was only bad for those brands that chose to shut down or stick their heads in the sand, instead of looking for creative ways to invest in those things that would bring big returns once the economy recovered. Same principle here: Focus on forward movement, and you’ll pull ahead of the rest.
- If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, now is the time. Historically, times of economic slowdown have been good for start-ups. Why? Because start-ups represent new beginnings, change and growth, and when times are uncertain, people look for hope packaged in new, promising beginnings. Add this to the tendency for start-ups to have open minds and positive attitudes, and you can easily see how they might outperform older, curmudgeon-like business owners.
- Your negotiation power and opportunities have been multiplied. You are no longer a bound subject of EU regulations! The number of countries that wish to trade with British business is already over 30. This is a virtual smorgasbord of prospects, all with different trade opportunities and ways of doing business—all ready for you to assess and choose. There are lots of them and only one newly available Britain. The negotiation possibilities will be abundant.
- The prime minister’s statement indicates that there’s an impending push toward global trade. A few will start the movement, then a few more will follow…and then the rest will make a mad dash to try to keep up, and will be left with nothing. I would have liked you to start globalising your brand in June; however, it’s not too late. Do it now, before the flood gates are opened and you’re left unprepared.
I’ll bet, whilst reading this, you came up with a few ideas of your own. You may have thought of some arguments, too. Let’s talk about it. Ask questions every Tuesday night from 8-9 pm on Twitter at @milesfryer, #BrandBrainsQandA. Join our Facebook group, Brand Britain. Connect with me on LinkedIn. Whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunities afforded by Brexit, and don’t be left behind with unanswered questions or regrets.