Insights & News

Trump, Brexit and the power of What If

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Do we stay or do we go? The blanket media coverage given to Brexit, supported by the endless polls and ubiquitous TV debates, is a reminder of two things. Firstly, that there is probably such a thing as too much coverage. 

And secondly, that there are some things beyond our control that can affect our decision making. And that can be stressful for us as business owners, and as individuals.

Whichever side you sit on Brexit – or the US Presidential Election, for that matter – you’re probably weighing up the What Ifs. What if the UK leaves the EU? Will it impact the price of goods, material, labour? And what if Trump wins? Will his decision-making dramatically affect the markets, or business confidence?

Of course no-one knows exactly what the future holds. But ‘not knowing’ – and therefore not being able to do anything about the outcome – can be difficult.

That got me thinking.

This lack of control is something felt by business owners and their staff the world over, every day

Many companies can be affected hugely by a new piece of legislation, or impending red tape and regulations. Losing a key contract or customer – sometimes due to entirely unknown or unforeseen circumstances – can be terminal for a business. That moment a key member of staff hands in his notice? That’s tough to take.

There are other factors. Perhaps someone somewhere is working on a new piece of technology that will transform your sector forever. Perhaps two big players in your industry are sitting in an office right now, agreeing a merger that will change the game for everyone. 

We always say that selling a business is fundamentally a personal decision. Only you can define the right timeframe for you, and your company, and take that next step. But don’t sell in a vacuum, and don’t overlook the importance of wider market forces, of the variables around you. 

The most successful businesses are the ones that are flexible enough to adapt, and wise enough to prepare and plan ahead.

In July BCMS is hosting “When Is The Right Time To Sell”, a special one-off expert panel event for business owners at Penningtons Manches LLP, London. For full details, visit our event page here.


Posted Jun 2016
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