Would you invest in a business with an uncertain future? I know I wouldn’t!

European referendum

People are always asking me to look at their businesses and give them some tips, or maybe some thoughts and suggestions about their model or marketing plans. I’m not really an investor that often, other than in Pimlico Plumbers of course, but whether I’m considering putting money into a venture or just giving those involved my honest appraisal, the first thing you need to know are facts and figures.

Of course you need to know about the product, production costs, marketing plans and all that goes to bring what you have to offer to market, but equally important is the market itself. Who is going to want your product? Where are your customers, and how much is it going to cost you to reach them with your products? This is assuming that they actually want them at all.

The simple fact of the matter is that nobody who is sane would ever buy into a business where there is no possibility of knowing who you are going to be able to competitively sell your products to, or even if you’re going to be able to legally reach those who may well be interested in doing business with you.

But that is exactly what the Vote Leave crowd would have us believe. Despite the fact that it will reasonably take 10 years to sort out all the treaties that they say they would negotiate with the EU, we are supposed to accept that foreign investors will still want to put their money into UK PLC, despite all the uncertainty!

They will continue to pump in billions even though the products and services they are putting their cash into may in the future face heavy taxes for access to Europe’s 500 million strong market. We are also told that we won’t lose existing trade that we currently have with Europe, which currently sits at more the £230 billion per year. But answer me this – what happens when a British product comes into direct competition with a similar French or German one, and we’re no longer full members?

Business hates uncertainty, and a Brexit would see business confidence levels drop off the scale to levels never seen before. In the past I have talked about the great unknowns, and why they are so dangerous for the economy. Well from such unknowns come one great big elephant sized decade of instability inspired uncertainty, and that is a fact. If that inconvenient fact only leads to a lost opportunity of 6% growth, as the Treasury pointed out last week, then I’d be very surprised.

The threat from a Brexit is huge and imminent, which is why we must vote to Stay In.

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About Charlie Mullins

Charlie Mullins is the archetypal entrepreneur having started Pimlico Plumbers from scratch and building it into a multi-million pound enterprise. Always opinionated and often controversial, Charlie’s common sense attitude has earned him a reputation as one of the UK's most outspoken entrepreneurs.