13th March 2018

Brexit bull

If there’s a horse at Cheltenham this week called ‘Brexit Bull’ I strongly urge you to put a hefty bet on it. It’s sure to be a good runner.

No matter whether you voted in or out way back in 2016 – I don’t think any member of the public would have voted for this bloody mess we’ve now ended up in.

600 people voted last night, supposedly our honourable representatives. However, how many are truly voting in the interests of the British public?

If you think about it – the only person, and I say this as an objective bystander, who really appears to be working to actually get the deal done, and do what we voted for, is Theresa May.

Everyone else in the House just seems to be working with self-interest, baying for blood and waiting for the right moment enter stage right (pun intended) to take over the leadership role, or, for those in opposition, to call for a general election, or God forbid another bloody referendum.

Love her or loathe her – her tenacity and determination to finish the job she started is to be revered. Many men would have fallen at the first jump, let alone still be riding the course (a little something for those of you lucky enough to be at Cheltenham this week – that’s the best place to drown your Brexit sorrows in my opinion).

Oh but don’t worry, voters, should we end up continuing past 29 March, we then have the further international embarrassment of new European elections. Yay! More time and money wasted, not to mention red faces.

The bottom line, to coin a business phrase, is that us lot of hard workers – running businesses, working as tradesmen and women, providing public services and generally working our fingers to the bone, are just looking for much better odds for our commercial outlook than our elected representatives are giving us.

Reputation is so important in business and we work hard to craft and manage our own – but who’s thinking about the country’s image? No one, that’s who. I work with a number of businesses relying on exports and looking to grow into new markets.

In forty-one years in business I have never seen anything quite like the commercial environment we face now.

I don’t like to be a voice of doom but we really need to get our house in order – our members of parliament more national joke than National Velvet.

My top tips for business owners facing this cliff edge (apart from hotfooting it straight to the Gold Cup this week) are:

  • Hedge your bets – think of likely scenarios and try your best to plan for what you might do faced with the likely scenarios – no deal, crap deal, what deal?
  • Return – focus on what you can control – not what you can’t. Do what you do best in running your business, secure sales, employ staff and be an upstanding citizen. That’s what will pay your dividends in the long run.
  • Forecast – always keep your house in order. Know what’s on the horizon, where your hurdles might be and how you can overcome them and always make sure you keep an eye on the cash in your business and what’s in the pipeline.

Right I’m off for a bet on the gee-gees.