So, Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election.
And it’s clear to me why she has done so. She stepped up to the role when the surprise vote for Brexit knocked David Cameron off his high horse. She was facing what may prove to be the UK’s biggest political transformation in a generation, but without a clear mandate from the people she leads.
Gathering in her shadow were politicians of every leaning who sensed easy pickings – and a clear opportunity to use Brexit to boost their own agendas.
Learning lessons from SMEs
Using the world of business as an analogy, I see’s May’s strategy as being, if she wins a clear victory in this election, to ditch the current slow bureaucracy of a PLC in favour of a more SME-style of leadership.
Having cleared the muddy political waters, this clear mandate will provide her with a strengthened position to take the UK forward and allow her to be dynamic, nimble and flexible enough to make the most of opportunities as they arise in the coming years.
Hopefully, she will also take forward the knowledge that, to thrive, smaller businesses cannot be reactive.
As I tell my clients every day, SMEs may often rely on one strong leadership figure, but their decision-making must still be positioned within a clear strategy and a strong business plan which looks five years ahead, while assessing potential risks and opportunities on a daily basis.
Global perspective on Britain
After all, May will now have to persuade the world that the UK will be a driving force in the global economy, not simply a cog in the European engine – albeit a large one.
In Manchester, I’ve noticed that investors are still showing an interest in the city, not just from longer term business partners like China, but from countries we are not so used to making deals with, such as Qatar.
The UK is open for business and the world knows it. Our main strength is that we know where we are heading over the next few years, and that is out of Europe and onto the world stage.
Opportunity on our doorstep
This doesn’t necessarily mean that opportunity must come from overseas markets either. In fact, most of my clients sell within the UK, and there is still plenty of confidence in this market.
‘Local’ business is booming here. Just look at how successful your local farm shop, independent brewery and cheese maker have become.
Where I see the real danger, particularly here in Manchester where we are also heading towards mayoral and local elections, is that businesses will be distracted by all this political noise.
So, my message is this: ignore all the hype. May will do what she has to do to regain the power she needs to govern effectively. You, on the other hand, should simply carry on doing what you are doing so well already – be confident, and plan for your, and UK PLC’s, long-term growth.
What opportunities do you see Brexit offering your business?