Tips for ‘Going Global’ – Why multicurrency working is essential in 2017 (and easier than ever!)
“There was a time when people thought the internet was out of this world – now they’re realising it’s just another tool in this world” – Tim Berners-Lee.
Berners-Lee, Godfather of internet and creator of the World Wide Web, said it best. The internet has far surpassed expectations in all aspects, as a facet of our media consumption, as a communications network and as a business tool. The digital world has revolutionised the way that humans interact with one another.
Thanks to the combined efforts of tech innovators and industry leaders – you and your business can be everywhere with all people at any time. So now more than ever UK businesses are going to need to start embracing the multi-currency world that the digital age has thrust upon them, lest they are left behind by the adopters.
With some careful planning, the perhaps once unattainable goal of ‘going global’ is actually very much within reach for UK businesses. If your product or service can be transported across the sea, then you’re ready to take your work around the world. It all starts with a great localised business.
Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed method of success here. On the face of it, working outside of the UK is fairly simple; build a website to sell internationally, develop a foreign distribution chain and market to different countries – easy, right? No. Sadly it’s a little more nuanced than that, so here’s our advice on taking your business global.
Understand your market, study the competition
Just because you’re doing well in the UK, you aren’t guaranteed to succeed over in Europe or in the States, there are a number of factors at play that could change the way you’re received by an overseas market.
So do your research, check out your competitors and try to get a feel for what the market is like in your target country and where it’s going to be in the next few years. It’s important to see what works in the areas you’re expanding into and adjust accordingly.
Exchange rates & Currency fluctuation
The first major hurdle you’re likely to come across when taking your business outside of the UK is learning to work with the natural ebb and flow of currencies and foreign economies. Globalisation is a complex, fickle and unforgiving beast and you’re going to have to get used to reacting to every whim and fancy dictated by the global network of national economies.
Be prepared for price increases and wild variations from UK costing. Your entire supply chain could be compromised if you don’t build in a safety-net to react to the ever-changing costs of worldwide working.
The value of the currencies themselves that you’re working with can make a real dent in your profits too, the relative strength of British sterling to foreign currency is never destined to stay the same. So make sure you understand that it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and evaluate the risks you’re willing to take.
Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t as complicated as it seems. In fact, you’ll find that a lot in the world of economics – many simple, perfectly comprehensible concepts are cloaked with daunting names that make them seem beyond the grasp of us mere mortals.
Essentially currency hedging just means you’ll be entering a contract that can help you control the effects of fluctuating currencies. Seek the advice of a reputable currency trading firm and they’ll be able to advise further, but we recommend exploring hedging as an avenue for securing your multicurrency trading as you begin to scale up and own more in foreign currency assets.
Scalable, flexible IT systems
As an IT service provider, we’re never going to downplay the importance of a reliable, secure and adaptable IT network – it’s just in our nature to care about IT systems. But we really can’t stress enough the importance of investing in your network if you’re planning on expanding outward.
You need a system that can grow with your business, develop as you do and adapt to any major changes you may come across in your expansion, you also need a system that can handle the pressures of working across multiple countries with national clients – so reliability is key.
One of the main pressures you may come across is having to shut down your business for a few weeks (possibly even a few months!) to replace an outdated or inferior IT system that’s holding you back – don’t let this situation play out and just have a chat with your IT provider about scalability with your solution. The sooner, the better.
Simple, affordable software solutions
It’s all well and good us giving you this advice about watching markets, monitoring currencies, adopting IT solutions, but what can we give you in the here and now to make this whole process easier than you ever thought? Software.
Packages like Sage Live have multicurrency features built in as standard to all levels of services and are designed to be flexible and adaptable so the software can grow with you as you begin your expansion out into the global business world.
Implementing Sage Live with your business is, in our opinion, the easiest way of ensuring you’re ready to take on the rest of the world. Its expansive roster of features gives you the perfect toolkit for tackling the intricacies and hardships of multicurrency business with the greatest of ease.
Alternatively, give us a call on 01733 297 100 to chat about anything covered in this article or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.