Comment by BVAA CEO Rob Bartlett

You can lead a horse to water...

When us trade association-types do get together to weep over a half of mild and start comparing notes on our respective woes, you can bet your bottom dollar this phrase will come up at some point.

It seems it is a perennial problem in trade associations.

For example, I got a note a while back from a member… I paraphrase, but the essence was ‘thanks for all the emails, but I don’t have time to read them.’

It’s enough to send a shiver down the spine of many an association executive.  Almost on the same scale as Perkins declaring ‘we’re out of tonic.’

The truth is we go to a lot of trouble to develop our guidelines, and to steer members to the right information in a timely fashion.  Early-warned means best-prepared. 

We also go the extra mile to widely broadcast the existence of new and updated guides – HotSpots, direct emails, newsletters, social media and so on.  But if folk are not availing themselves of our information, or worse still not reading it properly, then a disaster is definitely on the cards.

I got a bundle of questions about a topic recently – all answered in our guide which I know they’d had.  But that’s ok, we’re delighted to clarify.  What was bad however was that they failed to ask the RIGHT question, about their company’s role, which was likely soon-to-change because of Brexit.  This would, of course, have been apparent had the guide been read in its entirety, where this was clearly flagged up.

And don’t be too reliant on any Brexit Deal negotiations.  We know that some changes will definitely - and intentionally - be unaffected by any deal.

We’ve circulated some cracking updates to members, some excellent guidelines, and we have compiled a really good selection of web links for guidance on our Brexit Business Readiness page, https://www.bvaa.org.uk/export-of-goods.asp

But to be helpful to your business, you do need to read it, identify issues specific to your business, and then get your teams working on some solutions.


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