(3) Develop a strong currency strategyGoing global means that you need a robust foreign exchange plan in place, since selling to overseas customers involves taking international payments that need to be converted back into sterling. Historically, we used our bank for foreign exchange and let Amazon process all international payments made on the marketplace. This meant accepting their exchange rates with an added commission. When the pound took a hit after the Brexit vote, we realised we needed a change. We weren’t getting the best exchange rates and had no one advising us on currency strategy, so there was a real risk that we would have to put up prices, or source our materials elsewhere. We chose OFX, a currency specialist that could give us the tailored support and competitive rates we needed, as well as providing a payments solution that could plug straight into Amazon. With their guidance, we’ve started converting the euros collected from our European sales straight into dollars – our suppliers’ preferred currency. This has helped us get around the challenges of a weak pound, and means we can continue to keep prices low for our customers. In total, we’ve prevented the loss of around £150,000 since changing our currency strategy earlier this year.
(4) Failing to prepare is preparing to failPreparation and awareness are crucial to success in today’s business environment. Although there are choppy waters to navigate, there’s also a huge number of opportunities out there for success in business. Keep on top of the news agenda, so that you’re aware of national and international events on the horizon and won’t be taken by surprise, should any further political shocks occur which could affect your business. Make the most of the internet and speak to experts where you can, who might have greater insight to share about the events that could require your attention. In 2016, Brexit and Trump demonstrated that surprises do happen. Having a strong plan in place for success in business will help offset the effects of similar shocks in the year to come. William Johnson is the co-founder of Torro Cases, a Newcastle-based business that produces leather smartphone cases and men’s accessories Image: Shutterstock
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