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Post Brexit Export Advice for UK Business Owners

Many business owners here in the UK were shocked at the surprise vote in June that will see Britain leave the European Union and forge its own path alone in the world in future years.  Whether or not you agreed with the outcome of the Referendum, it’s now a reality and business here in the UK has suffered as a result of the uncertainty left in the wake of the vote.  Industry and business leaders gave fair warning before the Referendum took place and, in the aftermath, we’ve been hearing dire predictions from them about how opting out will leave the UK struggling economically for many years to come. 

Today, we’re going to take a look at the export industry which is pertinent to many small business owners in Britain who have harnessed the power of the Internet to expand their customer base overseas.  How can they be expected to carry on successfully with trade agreements likely to change before too long?  Here are a few tips that may just help you to avoid debt and bankruptcy and ensure that your business weathers the storm until the financial outlook settles down again.

Pound the Pound – sterling is weak at the moment so take advantage of this.  With UK exports predicted to increase by 2% in 2017, it’s vital that business owners have a global outlook when it comes to increasing profits.  Demand from emerging economies is still increasing steadily and the weak pound makes this the perfect time to get a foot in the door when it comes to these markets.

Risk Reduction – some business owners are avoiding the international markets because they are uncertain due to the volatile currency market right now.  Any business owners in this position may find it useful to trade in the futures market, buying foreign currency ahead of time so that fluctuations in the exchange rates can be planned for in advance in a bid to reduce the uncertainty.   If it comes to a “hard Brexit”, with the UK leaving the European Single Market, some goods sold to customers in the EU may be subject to tariffs which would increase their prices by up to 10%.  If your company sells in the European market then it may be worth planning to offshore part of your business abroad in order to make the European market less of a risky prospect.

Network News – any business owner wanting to sell products overseas will need to network effectively, attending trade shows overseas and getting to know prospective customers in other parts of the world.  Creating international links can have a snowball effect and it will help to build confidence in your brand and in you as a business owner.

Rapid Response Squad – dealing with international customers means being available and communicative at all times.  Try to make sure you respond to any customer concerns or inquiries within a few hours - the quicker you reply, the more customers will appreciate your commitment.

Be Flexible – each of your customers will be different, with individual preferences and requirements.  Make sure that your rules and procedures are flexible enough to deal with this and help your customers when they need it.