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Building Products October 2017

FINAL WORD MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS Following a recent study that suggested thousands of construction firms could be at risk of insolvency due to Brexit, Sean Ofsarnie urges construction business owners to ignore outside factors and focus on their own business. Isaw a recent study on City AM that suggested that 26% of construction businesses could be at risk of insolvency by the year 2020, thanks to the impacts of last year’s Brexit vote. While I think that it is responsible for business owners to be aware of the political situation, I think that a lot of people are at risk of getting bogged down in negativity about things that have not yet happened rather than focusing on their business. It is my personal view that business owners should stop worrying about Brexit, and focus on making their own business a success. Brexit has not happened yet. We do not know what the long-term impacts will be, good or bad. The UK will not be out of the European Union until March 2019, and even then we may have ‘one foot in the door’ for a number of years as we thrash out a deal on the country’s future relationship with the bloc. Very little about Brexit is clear at this stage, and it is unlikely to be so for some time. So, my message is this: stop reading the news and focus on your own company’s prosperity. People can predict all they like about the impacts of Brexit, but the truth is that nobody knows what will happen. You have to roll up your sleeves, get stuck in to your work, and make sure your staff are well looked after. Good staff make a good business, it is as simple as that. No matter what happens, you need to look after your staff – making sure their living is secure and making sure that they are not unhappy in their job. A big part of that latter point is ensuring that you cultivate good company culture – if you have your staff’s backs, and they have yours in return, you will be well placed to see off any external problems your business might face. Build this kind of relationship with your staff, and even if the worst predictions surrounding Brexit do come to pass (and I am not convinced they will) you will be in a great position to come through it unscathed. In times of uncertainty, hard work is more important than ever before. As a business owner it is vital that you are seen by your staff to be working hard, and that effort you put in will be noticed and replicated by them. I pride myself on being able to do anyone’s job at our company. I can get on the phone and sell, I can stack shelves, and even hop behind the wheel of a forklift to get a delivery sorted. In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to work hard, and instilling a good work ethic in employees starts from the top. Laser-like focus on business goals is a key trait that all entrepreneurs worth their salt should have, and in times of uncertainty it becomes even more important. Aims should be more sales, more new customers, and more depots across the country. Following the Brexit vote, we rolled up our sleeves and got on with the task at hand despite the uncertainty, and focused on getting a new depot open. A few months after the Brexit vote, our new Southampton depot opened its doors. We knew that if we focused and worked hard towards a common goal, we would be able to achieve great things and that is exactly what happened. Sstop worrying about Brexit and focus on your own business. Even if the going gets tough over the next couple of years, you will be glad you got something done rather than fretting about it. Sean Ofsarnie is the co-founder and director of Resapol 82 BUILDING PRODUCTS | OCTOBER 2017


Building Products October 2017
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