Credit and Finance
Ready For Take Off: Successfully Growing Your Business Abroad
As the summer holiday season draws to a close, and we all subconsciously go into ‘back to school’ mode, you may be thinking about how to take your business to the next level. Whether you already work with international suppliers and customers – or you’re just starting to explore new opportunities – moving into overseas markets can be both an exciting and daunting process.
In the same way a holiday check-list can help alleviate the stress of packing, it’s important to have a clear plan when expanding internationally. Below are just a handful of considerations that should make the journey as smooth as possible.
Building a loyal customer or supplier base is never easy, although it helps if the businesses you work with are local, or at least located in another part of the UK. It can be even more of a challenge when scaling up internationally, particularly if you’re operating in different time zones or where there are language barriers, so think about how you will manage these vital relationships. Factor in the cost of travelling abroad for visits and meetings and try, wherever possible, to find a contact within the company who speaks English well and is on hand when you need to speak to them.
Manage risk safely
Businesses, of all sizes, often run credit checks on customers to avoid non or late payment, as well as suppliers to ensure they deliver what they have promised. Businesses can access international business credit reports from Experian, which show details about the company helping you make insightful choices. This is an important part of managing the risk of international business, especially when working with new partners, customers or suppliers.
Where in the world . . . ?
Credit reference agencies like Experian rely on information about a company to calculate its business credit score. As with a personal credit score, this rating tells you whether a business is likely to default on payments and in the UK, we take into account details registered with Companies House and if it has ever filed for bankruptcy. We generate reports for overseas companies using our international credit offices and partnerships with top-level data companies.
Experian Business Assist can provide online reports for firms in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the USA. As our sample reports show, you can quickly see whether a company pays its bills on time or has any claims against it, as well as profits and loss. This means you can take an informed decision about whether you choose to work with a company or not, or what credit limit to set.