Opinion: Stop using Brexit as an excuse and fight for bookings

Opinion: Stop using Brexit as an excuse and fight for bookings

The months have ticked on since the Brexit vote of June 23, but what has been the real impact? For my business, it has been minimal and confined to a big slowdown in foreign exchange business, as the pound plummeted.

Interestingly, as people got used to the rate adjustment, business is now flying for FX, with sales well over the plan for the past month. While I was nervous after the vote, retail sales have been normal, with no obvious impact on us.

We may not yet have exited the EU but, if today is in good shape, let’s not be too worried about tomorrow.

Talking ourselves down

Against such a backdrop at Miles Morgan Travel, I get frustrated at the media and some businesses themselves that seem intent on talking us into a slowdown. If you tell people enough times they will be worse off and should rein in their spending, after a while they will believe it and will slow their spending.

This is a recipe to get us in a hole. Let’s hear more good news about businesses that haven’t been affected, and talk things up. It might just get us through positively.

We are sure to be challenged when the price of holidays goes up next year, with the pound weakening against most currencies. But maintaining a feelgood factor could even get us past that. Just look at my own foreign exchange sales – people got used to situation, and then started spending and in fact forward sales for 2017 are looking good for most people.

Hearing people being more careful around expansion is understandable, but times such as this are often when you should expand. You can get an excellent deal if negotiating a lease on a shop or office with a nervous seller or landlord, or a business less confident than you!

We are certainly still looking to expand and have not curtailed our marketing or promotional budgets. Our forward sales position for next year is at a record high. Business is there to be won. I am a great believer in being mindful about tomorrow but concentrating on the here and now – the things you can really change – and grabbing any opportunities that can come your way.

Don’t blame Brexit

I save my final words for those companies, both in and out of travel, using Brexit as an excuse for their failing performance generally. Within days – and certainly weeks – of the vote, companies were reporting that Brexit was impacting on their results. Although this was almost impossible, it allowed the doom-mongers to spread their negative vibes and rhetoric.

If you have not hedged this year, there will be an impact on your immediate business – but man up, fight for business and win.

People will always want to go on holiday and travel. If the ‘cake’ of business is smaller than normal, fight harder for a bigger slice for yourself.

Let’s all be Brexit busters and not be scared into failure.


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