October 2018

How to open your supply chain to the global marketplace

Despite changes in the Foreign Policy of the United States with regards to international trade, and the ongoing discussions between the United Kingdom and the European Union with regards to Brexit, we live in an ever growing and ever more global society, and it’s no different when it comes to our businesses.

 

What does this mean for my supply chain?

Simply put, the more links you have in your supply chain, the longer and more productive the reach. Gone are the days when businesses looked to local, or even national suppliers to fulfil their needs, businesses of all sizes are looking to the wider world to gain and maintain supplier relationships.

 

By casting a wider net in your search for your supplier, you can reduce your cost, lead times or production requirements by finding the right supplier for your specific needs. All this leads to an opportunity to increase profit margins for your business.

 

Doing business in the global marketplace

There are other benefits too to looking further afield for your suppliers. By putting your business on the international stage, you are also opening your business to potential customers with which you can trade. Although not a direct goal of seeking your suppliers on a global scale, it is inevitable that by putting your company and products in the wider domain, you are more likely to get noticed.

 

How to take your supply chain global

There are many methods to taking your supply chain global. You can use traditional procurement and tender methods using journals, publications and networks or you can rely on agencies and businesses to perform your procurement for you. You can also use the internet to increase your visibility and manage your own process.

 

Websites such as Scanmarket offer eAuctions, for example. The eAuction process allows you to clearly define what it is that you are looking for and what your terms are. You can configure your bidding rules, starting process and feedback options, and more besides.

 

Why choose the eAuction process

The eAuction gives you the control to not only find your own suppliers, it also allows you to have full control over the process from start to finish. You can choose different auction types to suit your individual needs, these include Japanese, Dutch and Reverse options.

 

The dynamics of the online environment, however, is the real bonus here. You can manage your procurement and supply chain in real time and therefore interact with your potential suppliers to make sure you get the best deals for you.

 

For more information on what Scanmarket’s eAuction software can do for you, visit their website.

 

Effective business finance advice for trading overseas

If you are thinking of expanding your company to trade in overseas markets, then it is an exciting step. With around £30bn in goods being exported from the UK as of June 2018, you will be joining a thriving international business community. Naturally, the key thing to do it successfully is to prepare wisely for the expansion. By taking the relevant steps to make sure that everything is in place, both in the UK and the new territory, you will be well placed to make it work.

What business finance areas should you think about?

Of course, trading overseas requires you to cover all the essential areas of your business from marketing to logistics. One vital area alongside these is your finances. There is no doubt that trading internationally will impact on your finances, so you need to keep on top of them at all times.

Here are some great pieces of advice to help.

Have a clear plan

To really make overseas trading work, you need to have a clear business plan for the expansion in the first place. This will allow you to look at whether there is a need for your services in the new market and work out if it is financially viable. A well-written plan will allow you to look at the costs involved, the potential returns, and if your company can actually sustain the expansion with the current state of your accounts.

Keep an eye on costs and expenses

Once you have made the move to trade overseas, it is wise to keep a close eye on the costs and expenses involved. This may be from running a satellite office in the new market to simply looking at the costs of sending goods internationally from your base. Make sure that the costs of trading internationally are not running away with you and posing any issues for the whole business.

Know the rules

One big area that anyone who trades overseas should get a handle on is any tax laws or rules specific to any country that you either send goods to or in which you physically operate. Not doing this could see goods confiscated at customs or big fines handed out for missing key reporting deadlines.

Use an online money broker

A great piece of business finance advice for overseas trading is to use an online money broker. Rather than heading to your local bank when making payments abroad or moving money back into your business account, go online to find a specialist company to do it for you. This will help save your company money as these brokers offer better exchange rates and lower fees while also being quicker. It is always best to compare international transfer rates online when you are doing this so that you get the best deal possible.

Look after your finances when operating abroad

If you currently trade overseas or are about to, then it really is essential to keep an eye on your business finances. Good financial management here will not only allow your overseas trading to show clear profits but also help protect your whole business. Hopefully, the above tips have given you a great place to start.

 

How to look after your finances as a sole trader

In recent years it’s been estimated that there are almost 200,000 sole traders in Britain – a statistic which reveals just how popular this mode of working really is. However, it’s also widely known that being a sole trader brings with it a whole host of additional challenges that working in a larger organisation does not, and one of these is the fraught world of finances. From filing a tax return to making significant financial decisions, there’s an awful lot to do. This article, then, will provide some pointers on how you can get your business finances under control if you’re a sole trader.

Stay organised

As with any important task, beingorganised is the key to success. Managing finances as a sole trader is the sort of chorewhere that is vital.There are all sorts of documents that you’ll need in order to file your tax return on time, including your invoices for the year. You’ll need to remember unique reference numbers and login details for the HMRC online portal, too. It’s also definitely in your interests to be organised becauseyou can claim allowable expenses on a number of different costs in order to bring down your overall bill, but you’ll need to keep your receipts in order to know how much to claim.

Consider an accountant

For some sole traders, however, this kind of personal financial management isn’t something that’s easy – or, in some circumstances, even possible. Whether you’re too busy or you’re simply not so good at numbers, sometimes it’s easier to outsource the work to someone else. Accountants specialising in small business accounts can help you to ensure that you claim everything you’re owed under the complex tax laws, and they’ll also be able to take on the burden of remembering the date of each deadline.

Build up a buffer

While it’s not something that many sole traders like to think about, it’s unfortunately inevitable that some spare cash to tide you over will be required from time to time as a freelancer. Sometimes, clients simply don’t pay up when they’re supposed to – leaving you with bills to pay, but less income than usual. And on other occasions actually sourcing the work can be tough, especially if there’s been an economic downturn. In order to get through these periods, a buffer is essential. Keeping six weeks’ worth of earnings in your bank account is pretty much essential, just in case – although in an ideal world you may be able to keep more. That way, you’ll always be confident that you can pay the bills for a month or two even if things go wrong.

With many sole traders finding it difficult to get their finances in order, it’s clear that taking steps to get the problem under control is wise. Whether it’s staying organised through the use of a diary or calendar, investing some cash in working with an accountant or a mixture of several options, there’s a lot you can do to ensure you stay organised.