It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…
Charles Dickens wrote those immortal opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, but he could easily have talking about today, trying to explain the conundrum that is Brexit. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, or even if you’re sitting on the fence itself, only one thing is certain- uncertainty. No-one can say with any guarantee how things are going to work out. There are too many permutations, too many imponderables.
Which doesn’t sound like good news for business owners. The pound, along with shares, yo-yo’s at each piece of news. Political parties are split, like never before, over just about everything. The British public are confused. And then there’s the aggrieved partner known as Europe to consider. But as March 29th creeps ever closer, business owners want to know not just what Brexit will look like, but what a post-Brexit Britain will look like. What does it all mean for their business?
Of course time will eventually unravel this Gordian knot, and perhaps, in five years’ time, we’ll look back and say, what was all the fuss about? Or perhaps not. But first of all we have the present to deal with. How is your business going to cope with so much prevailing uncertainty, if you haven’t the luxury of paying for Brexit advice or lobbying key players? The answer is to give your business a much needed dose of certainty.
But how can that be possible, you ask, when markets are fluctuating, consumer confidence has been shaken, trade deals haven’t been firmed up, questions remain over EU funding in the transition period, and no-one can agree on the best way forward? Well there is something you can do. Control what you can control. Yes, markets may be volatile and things may not be going the way you want, but you don’t have to sit by, helpless watching as the drama unfolds. You can bring certainty to your business.
Certainty doesn’t mean business nirvana with an ever-upward growth graph, happy employees, happy customers. Certainty means being sure that you’re prepared for what happens next. Certainty means having the confidence to take the steps that need to be taken. Certainty means having a plan in place that is clear and robust. Certainty means having the right team around you to achieve your aims; certainty means knowing what your future looks like.
To achieve this you don’t need a crystal ball, you need the right strategy in place. The right strategy is one that examines all areas of your business to discover what’s working and what isn’t; it’s clearly understood by your team; it provides a clear path, setting out the actions you must take, whatever happens leading up to March 29th and beyond; it gives you the vision that underlines everything your business does; it reinforces your purpose, the reason why you set up your business in the first place; it provides both the ammunition and the armour your company needs.
You may well have a plan in place, but ask yourself honestly, how much certainty does it currently give you? If the answer is, not much, you need to look at your business, from top to bottom, see where the real problems lie, and how you can make them fit for purpose. You need your business to be in the best possible shape for whatever lies ahead.
But that will take time, you cry, time you haven’t got. Well, have you got five minutes? That’s all it takes to answer forty questions in the Certainty Scorecard test. By answering these you will discover areas of both strength and weakness in your business, and the measures you can take to resolve any issues. It’s a test that has helped hundreds of business re-examine their operation, so they can move forward.
No-one can tell with any certainty how Brexit will play out, but what you can have is certainty. By having the right strategy in place you can ensure that your business is in the best possible shape for Brexit and beyond. You can have at your fingertips the information you need to shape your operation and make the necessary changes to correct any weaknesses. You can have a strategy that everyone in your business not only understands but gets behind. You can have clarity. And last, but not least, you can have something that’s been in very short supply recently – confidence.