Presidential election day
I started writing this as a post on my Facebook page but it was getting too long so time to blog .. please note that all opinions are my own!
Today is a day that will go down in history, either because America elected Donald Trump or because they have elected their first female president in Hilary Clinton. Now, both candidates have their flaws and it would appear that neither candidate is seen as particularly popular. There has also been a lot (A LOT) of scary stuff banded about during this election and the results as they come in overnight are going to have wide reaching consequences whoever gets in.
I'm not planning on sitting up all night watching the TV to see the result, I like my sleep too much to be honest .. and the house will be cold. So, much like the Brexit vote, I will get up tomorrow morning and put on the news to see what has happened. Of course, it then needs the losing party to concede that they have in fact lost and they won't actually be president until the inauguration next year.
You may read this and think .. and, so what? How does this impact me and my business? I don't have US customers or suppliers.
BUT .. (yep, the big BUT) .. these results COULD impact on ..
Much like the result of the Brexit caused the pound to crash against the Euro and the Dollar, I would expect the Dollar rates to be all over the place whilst the "dust settles".
You may not deal directly in US Dollars but your suppliers, suppliers might and this in turn could affect their prices .. and as we have already seen with the exchange rates post Brexit there is only so long that suppliers can absorb this before it impacts the end consumer (Marmite-gate anyone?!).
It will impact your holidays too .. New York for New Year anyone? That shopping trip you have planned could suddenly become far more expensive.
The markets tend to be quick to react so my opinion is that we will see an impact pretty quickly tomorrow when they open. If they fall, then this has the potential to wipe millions off the value of big companies.
Again, you might think this doesn't impact you .. but it does .. your pension scheme could be hit in value, your stocks and shares ISA could be hit in value, your children's trust funds could be hit in value.
For most, this impact is seen as long term and part of playing the game, but if someone is close to retirement then this is a real concern and can then impact on what they do with the cash that they do have .. i.e. spending power can be impacted, the "grey pound" suddenly stays in the bank or in the pocket as people reconsider what to spend.
The UK has trade relations with lots of countries and has varying agreements and deals in place. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have wildly different views on the world and how it should work, this in turn will impact on world politics and political relationships between the varying countries and nations.
My expectation is that trade agreements and relationships will alter and be realigned with these. Whether this makes it easier or more difficult to trade with the US is to be seen, but it will definitely impact on some countries and that could impact on your business. It is all about the supply chain and understanding where yours actually starts .. and ends.
Saying that world politics will be different after the results of the election is like saying that day follows night, or that if there is a puddle and a toddler then they are going to jump in it! (especially if they don't have the appropriate clothing & footwear on!). But what will this ACTUALLY mean? Traditional alignments could change, support for nations with political turmoil and civil wars could change.
This in turn can cause uncertainty and this impacts on business, companies look more deeply at who they work with, where they work, where the spend. Government spend and contracts can alter as priorities change.
This may not impact you directly, but it can impact on your customers - if a big contract is lost then employees can be made redundant, there spending power is hit and in turn so are your sales.
This may seem all doom and gloom, but it's the reality .. something happening on the other side of the pond will have far reaching consequences around the world as well as closer to home. Uncertainty leads to people not spending their money and that WILL impact on your business.
Let's wait and see what happens ..
Please note - all opinions are my own!