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For some Brexit was an overnight sensation, others a huge disappointment, regardless of feeling it has been at the forefront of conversation since that long night in June. The truth is that practically nothing changed in 2016. We all woke up and got on with life.
There was a positive outcome of a higher value BPS payment and we saw upward changes in the markets but for most it was business as usual.
We are now in 2017 and my advice to clients is to prepare for Brexit and prepare now!!
The main question to ask is “can your business survive without Direct Payment support? If not why not? It is the tough questions that get the answers.
The UK government has stated they will support Direct Payments until 2020 at least, but what then? Most likely we will see the introduction of a UK based support system that I imagine will mirror the current one for a short period of time while a British Agricultural Policy is prepared. Once this is published the value, level and delivery method is going to change and I imagine dramatically.
There is one certain thing, it will not be there forever and we should prepare for that eventuality.
So how do you prepare for the unknown? I will be discussing with my clients income streams, added value and profitability. Looking at the different income streams for the business, which ones can improve and are their alternatives or additional sources. There is often assets that are not being used could they be improved or created.
Investing in current enterprises to ensure you are at the top of the game is often overlooked when times are bad. An example I have is a client who grows miscanthus, and for whom we are proposing erecting a specifically designed building to increase profitability. Productivity and profitability are often linked but are completely different and it wise to remember this when evaluating the business.
Having these discussions with a qualified advisor allows clients the opportunity to discuss their ideas and have informed responses from an external point.
If you wish to discuss your business and what 2017 could have in store please do contact Christopher Powell MRICS FAAV in the Marlborough office for a no obligation and confidential discussion.
Rural Practice Surveyor