Paul Hargreaves: Brex-mess
To my horror I had an e-mail a week or so ago reminding me that I am speaking in a Brexit debate at IFE this week. I had forgotten when I signed up to it several months ago, but really do not want to talk about it anymore. Not that I am not interested in politics, I am, but that I think that too many businesses are using Brexit as a reason for not initiating and some are using it as an excuse for poor performance. As someone said to me at the show today: “Everything is Brexit’s fault, even when my neighbour parks in my car parking space.”
I am as frustrated as the rest of you, whether remainers or leavers, and in my straw poll of business owners within the world of food and drink that ratio is 98:2, but it is time to stop using Brexit as a reason for not growing our businesses. That’s unless you want 4 years of inactivity as that is how long I estimate Brexit will be front and centre of the national news in the UK. Don’t expect a quick fix whatever the result of the interminable votes in parliament this week. If you hadn’t noticed people still have to eat and drink during Brexit, possibly more drink as they are driven towards it!
Have you noticed that whenever there is an impending crisis, the crisis is hyped up by the army of consultants who stand to benefit from it. For those that are old enough to remember the Millennium Bug, all our businesses, energy, home security systems and vehicles were going to cease working as the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2000. Companies invested £1000s on paying people to help them mitigate disaster. And many more of us did nothing and survived.
Then last year there was GDPR and again the army of consultants (probably the same people) were touting for business within businesses that were not compliant, forgetting to mention that GDPR is about people’s personal e-mails and phone numbers and not about work e-mails and business mobiles. Again, those of us that could read and adjust anything we were doing to stay within the law came out with our P & L accounts in a better state than those that had paid consultants £1000s to tell them what they could have worked out themselves.
Now we have the Brexit consultants. They have been charging a fortune to companies to prepare them for ‘No Deal’ which now seems as likely as Theresa May still being in power for the Tory Party Conference in the autumn. I am not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand, but please stop panicking, concentrate on growing and developing your sales and businesses, and stop using Brexit as a reason for failure.
Keep calm and carry on!