Q: The weak pound seems to present an opportunity to ramp up exports. We already export in a small way to Europe; should we build on what we know, or look for non-European opportunities?
A: That’s an interesting question, and one we are asked increasingly by business owners. The easiest way would be to see if you can increase exports into Europe, as this is a market you know, but there may be greater opportunities further afield.
First, research whether your products will fit the export market – or if they need adapting. Consider which countries might make the best market place.
Use government websites such as Department for International Trade (DIT) to determine how to get your product into that country. For example, you might hold stock in the UK and ship out on-demand. Factor in the cost of doing this. Alternatively, hold stock in a warehouse of the country you are exporting to especially if your product is in high demand.
Consider local laws and customs of the overseas country. We are members of Geneva Group International (GGI), giving us access to professional advisors in most countries around the world, with on-the-ground support and local knowledge. I regularly meet with colleagues from across the world, each of whom has detailed knowledge of their own countries and regions, and can provide insight into the opportunities and advice on accounting practices and legislation.
You need also to consider the business structure – whether establishing an overseas branch or partnering with an overseas agent. Issues such as VAT, local sales taxes, and transfer pricing are all areas on which we and our fellow members of GGI can advise.
Although the pound is currently weak you should factor in the impact of currency fluctuations in the future.
Exporting has its pitfalls, but huge benefits too. Having supported businesses like yours, I would be happy to have a preliminary discussion to help you achieve your goal.
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