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Businesses must prepare for a rocky ride

Small businesses across Shropshire are being urged to prepare for a potentially rocky economic ride as the UK begins to negotiate its exit from the European Union, as the majority of them will have not put any plans in place for a Brexit - because they expected the UK to vote to remain.

"The result of the vote came as a shock to many - but now is the time to plan, plan and plan some more," said our Managing Director, Laurie Riley.

He urged small firms to tackle the short to medium term fallout of the referendum by following the advice of Kirsty McGregor, founder and Chairman of The Corporate Finance Network.

She says: "Don't rely on your gut instinct or good luck.  If you never normally use financial projections, start to use them now.  Consider how all your major costs and income could be affected and forecast your profitability and your cash flow.

"A business that has a clear view of the possibilities in the future (even if there are a few different scenarios) will give confidence to the banks and suppliers alike."

Laurie said: "It's important for Shropshire's small businesses to consider their purchases and the short term impact of their cost - and, where possible, to seek to contract to firm prices.

"Any goods or raw materials that are imported will become more expensive if the value of the pound weakens."

Dyke Yaxley is also recommending firms assess the credit ratings of their suppliers and customers, spreading the risk in areas where there could be a potential problem.

Laurie said: "But, as Kirsty McGregor says, don't stop being brave and certainly don't stop innovating.

"This is an opportunity to find new markets or new products and make sure we retain the reputation in this country as the most entrepreneurial in the world.

"Small businesses which take steps to shore up their companies to thrive during potentially tumultuous times will be best placed to succeed - whether or not the worst predictions actually do happen.

"No-one really knows the true impact of this vote on our local economy, but with currency and stock markets jittering, and the UK's credit ratings taking a knock, this is not a time to bury your head under a blanket and simply wait for everything to blow over."

Laurie Riley, Dyke Yaxley's Managing Director