As recent headlines have indicated, when the UK exits the EU on 31 October 2019, the impact will reach more than just UK residents. As close trading partners, the wave of change will likely affect the way we do business too. If you run an Irish business, own a .ie domain or operate within the Irish market, you may want to ensure you’re Brexit-ready for the ever-looming deadline.
Based on government guidelines, here’s some of the key points to know in order to prepare your business and colleagues, and minimise potential disruption.
If you have UK-based suppliers, it’s important to speak to them in advance. Try and find ways to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth processing of goods for your business. Examine if there will be an extra levy on goods and if so, the contingencies in place for this. On that note, be sure that you have adequate insurance for any potential delays.
Changes to Logistics
Although the details of how Brexit will impact Irish business are yet to be understood in full, there are some ways to plan ahead. It is expected that transportation of goods between Ireland and Britain, also known as the ‘land bridge’ may face new rules and custom charges. To prepare for this, you may want to minimise using the land bridge for exporting goods, or stock up in advance. You should already be forward planning with your logistics team to put financial guarantees in place where possible.
If most of your business is conducted online through your website domain, you will still need to consider any implications within your supply chain.
Ahead of the Brexit deadline, take the time to review any contracts you may have with UK suppliers. You may need to amend these, including any changeable terms, costs or liabilities now affected. This includes any online suppliers too. If you have web hosting Ireland, this may be one less thing to worry about.
Keeping Employees Informed
Brexit is an equally unstable time for employees. Therefore, it’s best to keep your team up-to-date with the latest news and changes affecting them. Your website domain may include an intranet section for internal viewing only – this is a good place to share news and updates. Include links to other useful domains, including official government pages.
If your colleagues travel a lot for business, ensure that this won’t be disrupted. The Common Travel Area will continue to allow Irish and UK citizens to travel freely between both countries, for work and leisure.
There may be some instances where your customers may be affected by Brexit. For instance, this may include delays for sending goods to the UK, or revised costs in doing so. It could even be that owing to increased tariffs and charges, prices are forced up. The best way to communicate with customers is through your company website, social media and direct communication via newsletters. A website tends to be the first port of call, so if you don’t already have an online presence, now is the time to register domains and go live.
In terms of your company voice, it’s better not to speculate and stick to the facts. Reassure customers that you are prepared for change and that you will be doing everything possible to minimise any impact affecting them.
Finally, there is a wealth of support in place for businesses in Ireland online. This extends to the Brexit Advisory Service, the Brexit Mentor Programme and Brexit Advisory Programmes, where you can learn more about potential changes.
For those with an online presence or web hosting in Ireland, there are various Brexit Webinars available to view, that may be of particular interest.
With the uncertainty of Brexit casting concern over Irish business, it’s important to know that plans are in place to support business through this transitional period. These are just some of the key considerations for your business, but please refer to the full official government guidelines for more information.
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