James Gumble

James Gumble

Founder of Xpand Access

Website URL: http://www.xpandaccess.com

How Much do you want to Grow your Business?

How much do you want to grow your business ... and at what rate?

It seems a simple question however, it raises further questions for your business.

Know how much you are currently trading

In order to answer the question you need to know how much you are currently trading on a week by week basis;  and how much your business is likely to grow over the next period.
If you aren't able to track how the sales of your business are changing - then you will be unable to measure whether any growth campaigns for your business are effective.

You are essentially throwing away your money if you are advertising before understanding the position that your business is currently in.

Therefore - it is important to track the basics of your business;

  • Detail your sales in a digital format somewhere
  • Track how many active customers you have on a weekly basis
  • Understand the average value of sales and how much you are earning for each revenue stream

 

How much you can address realistically

Once you have worked out how much you are currently selling - make sure you understand your current limitation for your business sales.  Understand what is your maximum capacity for sales so you can set realistic growth targets.

This would be based on : - 

  • Number of available staff and hours / Hours to provide services
  • Realistic level of stock that will be held at any period
  • Physical capacity for storage area

Once you know your current limits and capacity - take your capacity and divide it by the level of sales that you are actually providing.
This will give you your current level of efficiency - this also gives your business something to aim towards improving.

 

Are you making the best of what you have got?

Once you have started to work out your business capacity within your current team - it is worth considering if there are ways that you are able to increase the value of each sale that you are currently generating.
How much is your current cost per sale and are there any ways that you can sell additional services in order to increase the value that your current infrastructure can generate?
This can be another way to consider growing the business,  efforts can be made to secure these new higher value sales for the business.

 

Ready to Expand

Once you have worked out how much you are currently selling,  how much you are able to increase this by and how much you would like to increase your sales;  
Consider what changes and investment will need to be made in order to expand the business into new areas.  

Users signing up to Xpand Access can find out how much they should budget for exploration and international development.

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Have You Made Your Brexit Plan?

START MAKING BREXIT PLANS TODAY

 

Based In UK

Trading With UK 

BASED IN UK?

NEED TO REMAIN CONNECTED TO THE EU

If you need to retain an uninterrupted connection to the EU; It may be worth considering a satellite office in Ireland in order to maintain a solid connection whilst there is uncertainty over the next 3 years. If Scotland gains independence and retains a Sterling linked EU currency - this will position Scotland as a strong contender however is unlikely to happen for the next few years.

 

TAKING ADVANTAGE WHEN THE POUND IS WEAKENED

At times when the pound is at it’s worst … (There are going to be several of these over the next 3 years) your products and services are going to be extremely attractive to European and American customers during these periods. Prepare to have budget and a ready made campaign to take advantage of these swings in the exchange rate. 

During these periods - customers can notice as much as 15 - 20% off the price of your services; whilst you still retain the full price of your services.

Start identifying international customers; when they are paying in their local currency a weakened pound will mean that you are receiving a higher payment. Being paid in dollars and euros will provide a better exchange rate.

Ask your business bank account about opening a dollar and euro account so that you can be ready to take advantage of these opportunities when they arise.

The local UK economy is likely to be hit the worst due to the uncertainty and the decline in UK funding - which means that those dependent on their local and UK market are going to be hit the hardest.

 

RETAINING TALENT AND REASSURING STAFF

With reports of professionally mobile workers exploring their international opportunities it is worthwhile explaining your Brexit plan to your team. With an opportunity to start satellite offices for EU and other market connections a pro active approach to international opportunities will provide any international talent on your team to your commitment to retaining European and International connections. 

The Upcoming Economic Downturn is likely to cause some apprehension for your staff about the future of the UK and your business. A pro active international approach showing that you are taking efforts to thrive in uncertain times can help provide assurances and bring together your teams. This unique position has the potential to get your team to take international aspirations a lot more seriously.

 

BEING PRO ACTIVE OR REACTIVE

Although nothing has been announced,  a prepared attitude committed to securing the position of your company and employees can motivate them.  Involve staff in discussions about what your plans are and ways that you can mitigate the impact of unknown results from Brexit.  Preparations will show that you are investigating your options and have an actual plan. With just over 50% of the UK population concerned about job security it is worth communicating to your team about how you are intending to reduce the impact of Brexit.

 

CURRENCY CONCERNS

Those working in multiple currencies or trading with multiple countries need to be aware of the potential swings in valuation and the current sensitivity.  Knowing how to react to what is happening and having contingencies and plans in place so that international cash flow can be planned.  It may not always be in your companies interest to change currencies at particular times - this is where it is worthwhile subscribing to financial information support services and making sure that strict payment.

 

TRADING WITH THE UK

  • Fact 1 : The UK has not left the EU YET
  • Fact 2 : No actual plans for when this will happen have been made yet
  • Fact 3 : The country is in political turmoil … (but so are many places)
  • Fact 4 : The vote was against the status quo and not the European Union itself 
    (arguable but happy to make the argument!)
  • Fact 5 : This will impact the world markets 

Over the next 5 years the UK is going to be worth keeping an eye on rather than avoiding - with change comes opportunity. Timing is going to be important in order to take advantage of the limited time opportunities of a weakened currency and a weakened economic position. It is recommended to have a plan and pre evaluate the decisions that you would like to make with the UK market in the event of a weakened pound.

Have your well evaluated plans ready to go - and make sure that the funds are allocated and available for a snap decision based on the currency and prices reaching a set point.

Be aware which currencies you are being paid and maintain a firm in order to make the best of the situation, The pound will likely recover in the longer run - but over the next 5 years will take several dips; in which opportunities will become available.

OUR PREDICTIONS

Year 1 - Political Stabilisation - Potential Snap Election

At the moment the UK is busy fighting itself about what is going to happen. Scotland wants to leave the UK, The tories have been busy fighting themselves and cutting their party to pieces, Labour are currently challenging their leadership and populations. The far right is currently lurking in the background to start making false promises all over again of further disruption and destruction.

The UK is a high risk market at this point with the potential to get some bargains and low cost international services. With a reputation for high quality digital and professional services - contacting companies with international opportunities would be very welcome and deals can be made just by operating and paying in a timely manner.

Year 2 - Terms of Article 50 Trigger and EU negotiations begin

Whichever political party ends up in power or coalition will have the non enviable task of pushing the large red self destruct button for the UK / EU relationship. There is a 99% chance of it happening - because else there will be rioting and British Civil War … which is usually a combination of badly made cups of tea, football hooliganism and letters of complaint.

The fallout from the markets will likely cause disruption for the UK pound. This is when Scotland will likely make a successful bid and secure an independence vote.

Year 3 - Funding Cuts, Austerity and New Relationship with EU

As the reality of Brexit now stares the UK in the face, the realities of where the gaps in previous funding programmes will now be apparent. The UK EU support infrastructure has been taken away and there is less ability to support businesses and the previous support and growth programmes that have been available in the past.

There is now a demand for international funding on a local level - there will be a requirement for innovative solutions and rolling out cost saving, innovative solutions will be essential for the UK survival. Local Government funding will likely be cut - but the requirement for business support will still exist.

Year 4 - New Trade Deals, Laws and Negotiation Implementations Begin

As Britain finally has closure with Brexit,  the terms are starting to become clearer as to what will be happening in the years to come.
It will be at this time that new laws, trade rules and deals and relationships with Europe will be coming into effect and the reality of the next few years will start to become clearer.  It is at this point that the UK will be able to start looking at starting international negotiations .

The UK will now be able to start attracting foreign direct investment in new ways and setting new rules for international trade deals.
The relationship with Europe will start to be re-established in some shape or form meaning that a relationship with the EU SHOULD be secured.

Year 5 - New Relationship and New Reality

Within 5 years the UK should be operating with new opportunities,  some better deals but a strained relationship with the EU.
Our prediction is that some rather crazy and bizarre deals will be made,  which will take many years to come to fruition.
The UK will have a strong position as a professional and financial sector,  Scotland will have a professional and technical focused economy and will be making use of it's new found EU status and likely establishing a strong Sterling position within the EU.  Scotland can effectively become the UK's back door into the EU.

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5 Reasons It’s Never Too Early To Explore International Opportunities

5 Reasons It’s Never Too Early To Be Exploring International Opportunities



New Customers

Thinking globally from the start forces your business to explore ways it can expand into new markets; Working out how you can deliver your services on a global level provides you with a better understanding of how to serve your local market. Positioning your company as a globally focused company provides your business with an edge against local competitors as well as opening yourself up to a larger number of potential customers.

Customers in different regions have different attitudes, budgets, appetite for your products and services. Discovering what can work for your business region by region provides you with the information you need to plan your international approach

Different Cultures

Different regions around the world will have a different appetite and appreciation for the goods and services that you provide. The level of understanding about the problem that you solve and the value that people associate against it will differ from region to region. This will effect the level of cost in acquiring each sale and the price in which you are able to charge for your services.

There may also be required changes to your product or service in order to better serve this new market; Implementing these changes into your product and service not only allows you to enter new markets but may translate into solving problems that your local customers aren’t even aware that they have yet.

The customers that you are interacting with and requesting feedback from are driving the development of your application, product and service. Is it worth exploring whether your local market is providing the best return and feedback for your business?

Available Support and Funding

Private and public funding exists to help support businesses to explore new markets on an international level. Whether this be through structured programmes and departments, private investment opportunities or through frequently published sectoral specific funding opportunities.

These opportunities may not exist in your local market - therefore spending 4 - 6 months developing your business in a new area can provide your business with the right growth that it needs at this time.

R&D Grants, Accelerator Programme, International Funding, Finance and Investment or International Banking.

Your local market may not be providing you with the best opportunities to finance your business growth and development.
If you discover that there are better international opportunities for your business - exploring funding in these regions allows you to receive feedback from customers with better budgets, lower cost of acquisition and a better understanding of the products and services that you provide.

New Ideas

How innovative is your local area? Explore areas with different consumer cultures and trends and explore ways in which your international competitors are serving these markets. Get ahead of the local trends by identifying proven ways in which you can improve your product or service to get a competitive edge internationally. Consumer trends tend to migrate on an international and being the innovator bringing these to your local area will mean that you are the best your region.

Identify ways in which you can improve your products and service, iterate and copy and see if there are ways that you can innovate your business by visiting and building relationships with international competitors.

Reduced costs and improved service

Do the maths!

  • How much is it costing you to run your business?
  • How much does it cost to make a sale?
  • How much is each customer willing to pay?
  • How much does it cost to make each product / sale?

Are there ways that you could outsource any of the elements of your business in order to reduce the cost of running your business. Should you be hiring better talent from new areas? Should you be selling in to new areas?

Your business in it’s local market isn’t a representation of the costs and opportunities available on an international level.

So what next?!

We’ve established that investigating your businesses place in the world is important … now you need to work out where to begin.

Interested in finding out more?

Complete the initial FREE assessment and start receiving the relevant information to your business about the best international opportunities for your business
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Retaining your EU / UK connection

The Potential Impact of Brexit

An Irishman, a Scotsman and an Englishman walk out of a bar after the Brexit decision has been announced.  (Yes it was 8am,  but all of these stereotypes apparently have some form of drinking problem)

 

The Irishman is no longer the punchline  ...

The Irishman speaks English,  has spent the last few years recovering from economic hardship because of the 2008 financial crash.  Ireland has attracted a lot of high revenue companies and talent back to the island over the last few years.  

For any company that NEEDS to maintain a stable relationship with the EU;  Ireland offers certainty of that connection.  Setting up a small operational branch in Ireland is relatively straightforward.  

As Ireland has access to the EU,  it also has access to attract international talent without any issues of trade tariffs or complicated visa processes and the uncertainty that Brexit has created.  

The main difference that Ireland has to the UK … is the Euro 

If you can get over the challenges of dealing with multiple currencies - having a base in Ireland will allow you to retain an uninterrupted connection to the EU - it may be worth setting up a satellite office in Ireland and considering it for your European Headquarters. 

This will give your company a consistent European presence and flights from the rest of the UK to Ireland are extremely affordable .. travel to and from Ireland is actually cheaper than most UK long distance train fares with enough planning.

Government support exists for companies seriously investigating the move - giving the consideration a strong endorsement.  

Pros :
Ireland will retain connection to the EU
There is an available talent poolInternational hiring is easier
Funding and Tax relief is available 

Cons :
The business entity will be trading in the Euro
Relocation of businessRyanair flights aren’t always the nicest
Health Insurance for Employees

 

The Scotsman is in the mood to negotiate

A majority of the Scots decided that they wanted to remain in the EU,  and are now strongly considering breaking away from the UK in order to be able to do so.   Those who had previously voted to stay as part of the UK in the original 2014 #indyref are now more in favour to leave the UK.  Nicola Sturgeon has emerged as the only leader willing to continue to push a remain agenda. 

With a second independence referendum on the horizon (#indy2),  there are a lot of interesting options that Scotland is pursuing on an international and local level.  Nicola Sturgeon will be fighting constantly for a good deal for Scotland,  reassuring it’s citizens and pushing for the best deal for it’s people.

With these regions DEPENDANT on EU funding for the local innovation and business development infrastructure - it will be interesting to see how Scotland negotiates.

Scotland has a chance of becoming an independent country with an independent relationship with the EU;  whilst potentially retaining a sterling linked currency.  Scotland being the only EU member with a sterling linked currency could see it having a unique international position.

However - this would likely be happening in years rather than months.

Timing wise this would all start post Article 50 and pre Brexit;  However a rather bullish Englishman could stop this from becoming a reality - and the chances are … they will be making it as hard as possible for this to be a realistic outcome.

Scotland is an option for companies that are looking to take a gamble whilst remaining in the UK;  As a country it has an extremely strong education system,  a workforce with a reasonable level of satisfaction. 

Pros
Investment into Education
Diverse Talent Pool for Knowledge Based Businesses
Potentially retaining connection to the EU

Cons
No immediate resolution to EU risk
Scotland will be fighting for independence

 

The Englishman has a lot of challenges ahead of him

With just under half the country voting remain,  and just above half voting to leave;  
The English and Welsh now have to move forward with working out how to ‘Brexit’ with a potentially reluctant Scotland in tow - who have a good chance of going it alone within the next year. 

With Scotland fighting for independence;  both major british political parties suffering from internal battles and a hesitation to activating Article 50.  The UK has a lot on it’s plate before it even gets to the exit in Brexit.

Whilst the UK is in the EU - it will find that making individual deals with countries difficult without breaking EU rules and regulations (incurring penalties and fines) - It will be discouraged from talking to other countries about post brexit opportunities by the EU until article 50 is triggered as this will weaken both sides negotiation points.

Although in the long term;  the UK is able to start making independent decisions away from Europe.
The years between stability are likely to be tough and will see large numbers experience further deepened austerity.  

Sign up to Xpand Access and find out the latest news about which options benefit your company the best.
Protect your business,  look at the realistic opportunities for your business and decide if you want to take action.  

The pound is likely to have a swing in stability before it gets strong against the dollar or euro.
There will be a number of factors which will cause the price of international trade to vary greatly. 

Dates to be aware of
Date that Article 50 strategy is announced
EU response to Article 50 dates
When Article 50 actually happens
Scottish Referendum Announcement
Scottish Referendum
A UK general election announcement
A UK general election
When the departure date is announced
When the departure happens

Pros
Potential international opportunities in a few years
Continued connection to the pound and sterling
Potentially having a ‘new’ European relationship

Cons
Support infrastructure is quickly vanishing
Prepare for a lot of austerity
Political turbulance
No more direct and easy EU connection

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