Exporting might seem like a daunting prospect but many companies are engaging in the practice profitably. Be your product a material one, a service, or a talent, taking it overseas and continuously expanding that net could result in growth for your business that might not be achievable within the UK’s coasts. Here we present our top tips for reducing the difficulties around exporting, so you can sit back and focus on the profit and growth you can achieve by engaging further in this practice.

  1. Select New Markets Wisely

When expanding your web of export partners, be sure to select markets that can demonstrate a strong demand for your product or services, and are suitable to do business with. Location, infrastructure and currency risk are all factors to be considered when selecting a new export region.

  1. Understand Those Markets and Get Expert Help

If you plan to branch into new markets, make sure you understand the regulations within those nations, and how they interact with UK codes of conduct. From the legal implications of exporting to any given country, to the import, customs, payroll and taxation rules, do your due diligence. Helpful information is available from United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI), that offers a range of services, or United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF).

  1. Be Competitive

Just like doing business on home territory, you want to have the edge over your competition when exporting. Be strategic and set yourself apart from others offering your products or services either from a local position or as an exporter like you. One way to do this is by focusing on your margins and and keeping your costs down, so that you can compete with their prices. By reducing your price points, you can do away with the notion that anything imported from overseas is by definition pricier.

  1. Minimise Currency Risks

There are many organisations that support selling services, products or talent overseas, and you needn’t be at the mercy of currency exchange rates. With advance payment platforms such as global early payments network URICA, you can choose the currency you would like each invoice to be paid in, and can receive payments at a sooner date than on which your client wishes to part with their money, eliminating the risk that exchange rates may swing out of your favour by then. The client then makes their payment to the URICA at their preferred time.

  1. Minimise The Risk of Late- or Non-Payment

If cash-flow is important to your business, payments need to flow between your clients, your business and your own suppliers regularly and on time. Securing credit from a bank can be onorous, costly and risky. Networks such as URICA can provide advance cash to cover the costs for export operations, taking on the risk that your client may pay late or not at all. Nutz Audio, which sells products in stores such as HMV, used the URICA network to receive early cash payment while their international customers were still able to pay according to the timeline they wanted.

  1. Control Financial and Credit Risk

Completing transactions on an early payments platform can revolutionise working capital, removing the need to take out costly credit. Stuart Garner, CEO of British motorcycle manufacturer Norton, sources 80% of his supplies within Britain. But finding suppliers willing make bespoke parts without upfront payment can be challenging. URICA pays Norton’s suppliers as soon as invoices are agreed, while Norton gets 60 days free credit on every invoice. Norton also uses the network to receive early payment from its US dealers. Getting help from banks can cost money and time, says Garner. “The URICA platform is in a different league.”

  1. Be Partner-Savvy

Customers, sub-contractors and suppliers that you work with overseas may prefer to deal with a local company or representative. Outsourcing your overseas supply chain management, for example with the use of fulfilment centre, which will store and deliver products internationally, can take away some of the pressures and risks involved in exporting. But make sure you choose overseas representatives, partners, agents, suppliers and distributors that understand your brand, risk attitude and growth strategy, and keep in constant contact with them.

  1. Leverage and Protect Your Brand

It is important to maintain your brand identity when you expand into new markets, and make sure your trademark and name is legally protected. Resimac, a Yorkshire-based developer of high performance coating, has been able to grow its business successfully by exporting its British-made products overseas. “The biggest hurdle to exporting is providing competitive credit terms abroad while keeping UK suppliers happy,” says managing director Matthew McDonnell. “With URICA, we are now able to offer great credit terms to our export customers, but we get paid on the invoice within seven days.”

  1. Get Your Export Structure Sorted and Sturdy

If sales and transactions for your exports can be completed over the internet, set up a concrete and trustworthy method of executing this. Using these means you may be able to avoid setting up an establishment overseas, and by extension avoid the taxes associated with a physical presence for your business overseas. You may be able to upscale your presence and business overseas in an easier way by keeping it all online.

  1. …But Stay Adaptable

A sense of humour and adaptability is essential for anyone within to do business with multiple markets. What works well in one country may not be the custom in another. With flexible payment platforms such as URICA, you can pick and choose the invoices that are paid on the network, sticking to more traditional payment mechanisms if that’s what any given client would prefer. If they don’t mind paying via an early payments network, the timing of each payment can be changed with each invoice, reassuring your clients that you can be flexible if they wish to push any payment forward or back.

For more information contact the URICA international team on 0207 193 7616 or info@urica.com

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Laura Clarke

Laura Clarke has worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News, and as a freelance writer for publications including The London Evening Standard.