It goes without saying that 2021 has been a bumpy year for businesses across the country. This has largely been the result of supply chain issues caused by pandemic disruptions. However, it seems that Brexit is also to blame for the financial hardships that have come to light this year.
At the beginning of 2021, there were more than 5.5 million small businesses registered in the UK. This was a 6.5% decrease from the figure at the same time in 2020. Also in 2020, Brexit was finalised in the UK and the effects of this decision are still being felt by business owners as we approach 2022.
It was expected that leaving the EU would cause some upheaval for UK businesses. However, new research by freelance platform Fiverr reveals the true cost of the move, and it may come as a surprise!
Here’s how Brexit has impacted businesses across the UK in 2021.
The impact of Brexit on businesses across the UK
The research from Fiverr reveals exactly how much UK businesses have lost in the wake of Brexit.
In 2021 as a whole, UK businesses lost an average of £225,000 due to supply chain issues and Brexit. Within this, £107,851 was lost due to Brexit-related disruptions that have been ongoing since January 2020.
Among those most financially affected were businesses in London, Cardiff and Leeds. Businesses in London expect to lose a total of £283,499 this year!
Since the move was finalised in 2020, 63% of businesses blame Brexit for the problems they’ve faced in 2021. For example, 37% of businesses claim that Brexit has caused significant stock delays. Furthermore, 28% blame Brexit for later customer deliveries and 27% say that Brexit is the reason behind the recent fuel shortage.
As a result of the problems faced in 2021, 33% of businesses have been forced to increase their prices. This has caused many businesses to lose customers, resulting in lower profits this year.
How to make up for Brexit losses in 2022
Despite the challenges posed by Brexit, it is possible for businesses to make up for losses in 2022. As we roll into the new year, it could be a great time to take a look at how your business can accommodate Brexit and minimise further difficulties.
Outsource to freelancers
One of the biggest challenges faced by businesses since Brexit has been staff shortages. The research shows that 35% of UK businesses are currently struggling to recruit staff. Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester-based businesses are struggling with this the most.
One way to combat staff issues is to outsource work to freelancers. According to Peggy De Lange, VP of international expansion at Fiverr, “From a hiring perspective, leveraging digital freelancers is a safe way to fill any gaps in a workforce when it’s needed.”
Freelancers are able to take on a variety of tasks from graphic design to copywriting, and can work as and when you need them.
Buy stock whenever you can!
With supply chain issues reaching new levels, businesses should stock up whenever they can! Don’t wait for your stock to run low as this could land you in trouble if shortages arise.
Instead, keep your inventory comfortably stocked up all year round and buy new stock whenever the opportunity becomes available. This might mean turning away from your traditional restocking schedule for the time being.
Get stock from UK-based suppliers
Brexit has made it more difficult to import stock from outside the UK. For this reason, it may be a good idea to find a supplier within the country.
By using a UK supplier, your business could avoid import tax and other tariffs associated with transporting goods from overseas. This could save your business a significant amount of money and minimise the risk of your stock being held up in shipment delays.
There are plenty of excellent suppliers and wholesalers within the UK that could fulfil your needs.
Try remote working where you can
Another way to tackle staff issues is to accommodate remote working wherever you can. This way, staff will be able to work from anywhere in the world, assuming they have a good internet connection!
Adopting remote working is also a great way to cut down on the costs of renting office space and will make it easier for your staff to do their jobs in the event of another lockdown or fuel shortage.
The post Here’s how UK businesses have suffered in the wake of Brexit appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
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