You wouldn’t go globetrotting without a guidebook and some insurance, so why not ensure you have the same support for your business?
A recent study has revealed a potential 20% increase in the number of SMEs looking at exporting as a means of growth. Good news for the sales figures of course but these deals will still require funding and collecting.
As the economy continues to show signs of picking up it’s no surprise that businesses are starting to feel more confident about spreading their geographical sales areas. According to figures released by Citrix and YouGov, this confidence indicates that six out of ten SMEs expect to be involved in some sort of international trade by 2016.
Brave new world
Interestingly, other facts to come out of the study reveal that it is the more modern industries, with their younger managers, that appear most keen to embrace possible opportunities. Singled out are IT, Telecoms, Technology and Marketing as sectors that expect to either increase revenue from overseas or increase the number of countries they trade with.
At the forefront of this predicted push is their growing acceptance of new social and digital communications channels, including video conferencing, as an alternative to flying to all corners. These luxuries, denied to business owners only less than a generation ago, have made it possible to enjoy armchair networking and the televisual nurturing of opportunities without leaving the office.
Same old worries
But whilst video conferencing and social network banter can help create a more personal trading relationship with overseas partners, they do have serious shortcomings if the cheque doesn’t arrive and you need to bang on their door. At the time of going to press, neither Facebook nor LinkedIn were offering an international debt collection service or access to the finance needed to turn an order into an actual sale. But these things are readily available if you know where to look.
Belt & braces
The invoice finance industry has for many years now offered support and funding to businesses trading with overseas partners. Some offer a local presence whilst some offer multi-lingual credit control ability. Some offer both. One thing they all have in common however is a wealth of experience when it comes to local customs, international trading terms and currency transactions. Furthermore they offer bad debt protection as part of a packaged solution to ensure you have all the angles covered when moving into uncharted waters.
At the end of the day you wouldn’t consider travelling abroad without cash, insurance, and in some cases vaccinations as well, so don’t let your goods or services leave the country without a similar level of protection.
By Steve Leeves