Published On: Mon, Nov 19th, 2018

Don’t hide away in your Brexit bunker

It’s a subject matter I have tried to avoid as it is being discussed ad nauseam in the national press. More importantly, it is an area to which nobody knows the definitive answer. I am talking about Brexit. The reason for my current and temporary decision to comment on Brexit is a need to remind business owners the lessons we learnt in the economic downturn of 2008/09 and to offer a possible Brexit-proofing strategy. Over the last few months I have been discussing with many fenestration business leaders their views and strategies for the UK’s departure from the UK. These have ranged from the European supplier with a manufacturing base in the UK to the UK-based fabricator buying components from within Europe and the UK. The consensus is that we shouldn’t talk ourselves into an economic downturn – benefits and opportunities will arise from Brexit. What is clear is that the one lesson that can be learnt from earlier periods of economic uncertainty is – don’t take your foot off the marketing pedal.

As you search for your own particular strategy to ensure business success during the coming 12 months it is worth considering this advice given by Les Binet in Ad Week following the 2008 recession: “Cut the right costs: If you do have to cut costs, make sure that you cut the right ones. An analysis by PIMS (Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy) of how over 1,000 firms have reacted to previous downturns shows that some cost-cutting strategies are more profitable than others. Firms that cut manufacturing and administrative costs tend to do well, as do firms that cut spare capacity. But firms that reduce product quality or cut budgets for marketing and NPD tend to underperform.”

Whether you are involved in business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales, visibility in the marketplace is of utmost importance. If you hide away in your Brexit bunker, one thing you can be sure of is that some of your competitors will be rubbing their hands together as they bombard your customers with their own marketing and sales messages….