Cash flow and payment risks are the second most important issue for businesses trading outside the UK. That’s according to Exporting Britain: trading our way back to growth from the London Chamber of Commerce. Four out of five (80%) of the businesses surveyed gave that response, a sure measure of its importance both for those taking their first steps and for the experienced exporter. The report goes on to note that, “financial resources generally are an influential factor for 69% of London businesses.”

British government policy has long encouraged exporting for all the benefits it brings to the UK economy. Exploring new markets also has great strategic value for individual firms, helping them to build a customer portfolio that balances the risk of variations in demand patterns.  Insight into other markets through interaction with customers points to trends and innovations that can be adopted or avoided, bringing greater security against competitors at home as well as overseas.

The financial challenges are many, of course, and call for careful consideration followed by well-structured plans. Whether your business is responding to unexpected orders from international buyers or actively looking for new opportunities, you will need to collect information on the market and analyse its impact on your business. Our MyEH service has a wealth of unique information to help you.

And, how will that money reach your account? In general, you will have costs before you receive any income, so calculating the impact on cash flow is a critical step. It is good practice to line up finance before even inviting orders.
When the buyer is far away and the market is new, checking their record for payment and financial stability is much harder than in your domestic market. Make yourself an expert in the sources of reliable information.
Regulations and standard business practice for debt collection vary across the world. It is dangerous to assume that the processes and practices in your home market can be applied in other countries. Finding out the typical timescales and costs provides another valuable input to your international growth plans.
The rewards of international trade can be great. But the risks can also be high. Non-payments have become more common as international trade grows and are difficult to avoid when you are trading in new territories. We can assist you at all stages when you’re planning to export goods and services or you want to open up new markets. We evaluate the financial health of your customers and prospects, providing specialist advice to help mitigate payment risks abroad.  Our export credit insurance, adapted to your company size and needs, will give you confidence of payment at the end of the contract. If you make a claim we will manage collection of the amounts owed to you. Our skilled agents understand the best way to collect payments in each country because they understand the local laws and business culture.  Our aim is to maintain good commercial relationships between you and your customers. We guarantee to optimize your debt collection rate and to indemnify you if the debts are not collected.