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How to keep your business afloat following Brexit

Published on Sunday, June 26th 2016 by Aaron Whiffin

No matter what we voted in the recent referendum, and whatever our reasons, it looks almost certain that the UK will be leaving the EU.

Whether this will benefit or harm the economy in the mid-long term is of course debatable, but in the short term both the Remain and Leave supporters believe there will be disruption.

However what we can guarantee for the immediate future is uncertainty, and this uncertainty can seriously harm many small businesses.

The issue is that no one know what will happen, or when it will happen. Economists typically say we’ll be worse off, but many of the public disagree. During this time of limbo many are concerned about their jobs, their pension and their investments and as such may start cutting back on purchases, and this cutting back can start harming small business owners, and in turn start a recession.


So what can we do to keep our trade and stay afloat?

Firstly we need to remember that we are consumers ourselves and as such need to do the same as we’re asking others to do; to keep spending, have confidence and support the UK economy as much as we can.

As small business owners there are two things that we can do:


1. Adapt

Whether this means change where we buy our supplies from, changing who we sell our products or services to, or even modify what we are selling, it’s apparent that things are definitely going to change, and so we must change to avoid losing out.

As a web design agency this is something that we always have to do; if we were selling the same products that we were five years ago, we’d not be in business. Recently for example,  after listening to our clients’ requirements and are now spending far more of our time maintaining and improving websites made by other web agencies, and have modified our pricing structure to accommodate these projects. We’ve also outgrown our ‘image’, and as we are obtaining corporate and London-based clients, we are about to undergo a re-brand  (watch this space), which includes launching a sister-brand focussing on websites for the travel sector (The Travel Web Design Agency).

None of our adaptations have been ground breaking, but they are consistent, effective, and what keep us moving forward. Now, more than ever, do we need to keep a constant eye on our business model, and modify it to keep ahead of the game.

As small business owners we can’t be afraid of change.


2. Be Loud

Not everyone will survive this post-Brexit turmoil, businesses come and go all the time.

What matters to us, and what should matter to everyone is that their own company survives. The companies that survive won’t necessarily have the best product, or the cheapest prices, but will be ones that get noticed.

There’s an old joke about two campers in the forest who see a bear approaching. One of the campers starts putting on some running shoes and his friend says “Do you really think you’ll out run that bear?”, to which he replies “No, but I only need to out run you”. Although the joke isn’t that funny, it is accurate, and can easily be adapted for business. If you shout louder than the next company, and you get noticed, you’ll get their custom, you’ll escape the claws of the bear.

So reverting to my initial point; we need to keep spending but to spend wisely, invest our money in marketing so that we are shouting louder than our competitors.

Although there are pitfalls in many sectors, as a digital agency we’re fairly lucky. This is because when events like Brexit or economic uncertainty happen businesses get worried, and although they may slash their budgets, many do want to shout louder with their marketing, and that’s what we do, we market people’s businesses. The start of the 2008 recession, for example, put us at capacity and recruiting, and we managed to save a few clients from going under, and as such have gained customers, and friends, for life.

We’re very lucky in this specific instance as we don’t import much and as such the value of the pound won’t have a significant impact. Importantly, unlike many web agencies, our developers are all in-house and UK-based, meaning that we can carry on, business as usual, just shouting slightly louder than before.

We’re more than happy to help anyone with new or existing websites, and of course with their marketing. We can help with search engines, pay per click adverts, social media, email newsletters, any form of online marketing, and we can find a way of targeting your clients as directly
as possible.

We are Webbed Feet UK, we help businesses shout via online marketing.