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Is your business ready to export?

10/04/2017 / Comments 0

Is your business ready to export?

Despite all of the confusion surrounding Brexit and what it means for the country’s businesses, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England has suggested British exporters currently find themselves in a “sweet spot”.

This is because their products remain competitive in international markets, but are yet to encounter the rules and regulations that are likely to follow as our membership with the EU ends – all while the global economy enjoys something of a rebound.

His comments come as the UK’s trade deficit fell to around 2% in the final quarter of 2016 – the lowest level since 2011 – as businesses capitalised on the favourable conditions, including the value of sterling being roughly 10% lower than it was just 12 months ago.

No doubt this is prompting many businesses to assess the merits of trading overseas in a bid to increase sales, however there are a number of factors to consider before making the decision to commit.

If you’re one of them, here are five things to take into account before exporting:

1. Are you making money at home?

Before you decide to expand overseas, it’s important to know how well your business is doing at home. Companies that become good at exporting are usually already successful in the UK, and it isn’t always a great idea to enter new and unfamiliar markets to make up for things not going too well domestically. Take a good look at your books – if you’re not enjoying strong sales at home, maybe it’s not the right time to consider expanding.

2. Do you understand the country you are exporting to?

It’s important to think about the standard practices in the countries you are exporting to and the current marketplace. Having local knowledge will be invaluable. Do you understand the culture? Can you speak the language? What rules and regulations are in place? These are all questions you need to consider when choosing a country to break into.

3. Do you know the competition?

As with any business move, it’s important to know what your competitors are doing to decipher if there’s a gap in the market for your business. Research your competitors in the UK to see if they are already exporting, and find out who your local competitors would be in new markets before performing an in-depth SWOT analysis.

4. Is there a need for your product abroad?

Just because you think your product will do well abroad doesn’t necessarily mean it will. Different countries have different needs, so it’s important to investigate whether the demand for your product exists in the country you’re hoping to expand into. Make sure you have done enough market research to justify sending your product or service abroad.

5. Do you have the funding needed?

Evaluate if your company has the financial resources to satisfy an increase in product demand. Not only this, but can it cope with the longer credit terms that will exist when selling to overseas customers? If you need a cash flow boost to get the expansion off the ground there are specialist funding facilities available that bridge this gap, with some lenders providing credit management support and knowledge of the local area to really add value to your business.

As an independent commercial finance broker, Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions can introduce the most suitable facility on the market for your business’s requirements and objectives. Call us on 0800 9774833 or email info@hiltonbaird.co.uk to speak to our team of funding consultants.

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