Buying and selling internationally is a key growth strategy used by the most successful independent merchants. We can see from looking at our own customer base of retailers and wholesalers that sourcing products from overseas manufacturers directly or through marketplaces like Alibaba and then selling using ecommerce platforms is an increasingly important way they are growing their businesses.
That said even a casual look at the daily fluctuations in the foreign capital and exchange markets is enough to scare off even the most confident person. International markets feel, well, foreign. Beyond our direct influence. It can all seem very hard to predict and follow. In the last year the British Pound has dropped over 20% against the US Dollar – 7% in October alone.
So is cross border trade something you should leave to big retail, the risk takers and those with money to burn?
Not at all. While it might not be possible to control the movement of the world’s money markets you can still feel the significant benefits on your business of buying and selling internationally. But you will need help.
There are many organizations you can turn to for advice on international trade in general or even for activity in specific countries. Your bank. The embassy of the country you are considering and business organizations like the Chambers of Commerce. They are all very knowledgeable and have helped many companies just like yours find overseas suppliers or open sales channels.
Then when it comes to managing your business as your internationalize you will need to look at how you update your accounting, sales tracking, inventory and supplier management.
This is where ‘international friendly’ retail management and accounting software like Brightpearl comes in. It’s no good buying or holding onto back office accounting or retail systems that limit you to using a single domestic currency. This will quickly become a pain and lead to issues as you grow.
You also need to ensure you can open foreign currency bank accounts and connect them to your systems. You can’t limit your ability to trade with a supplier or customer by forcing them to use your ‘home’ currency or close yourself to the benefit of positive currency movements when you are ready to consider that for buying when your home currency is strong and selling when it is weaker.
Many of our competitors’ software were built for a single currency world presumably believing independent retailers aren’t interested in international trade or that they’ll pay more for additional features when they are. Worst still that they will just have to pay the bloated prices for other services targeted at the big retailers.
We’ve decided to take a different tack. We’ve now built multi-currency support as standard into our service. So with one simple subscription to our cloud service, you get great retail and inventory management plus multi-currency accounting. You decide how many countries and currencies you want to use and we’ll be right behind you as you expand. Supply side. Buy side. Ecommerce. Accounting and Reporting. One service to show you your whole business, whatever the currency.
Why on earth would you want to operate multiple systems from different vendors to enable you to trade internationally? World markets are complicated enough – your retail systems and accounting should make it easier not harder.
Key features of Brightpearl’s multi-currency accounting: