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UHY LLP, a member firm of the global accountancy network UHY, introduces an essential guide for companies planning to set up international sales and operations.

The guide is available in Issue 27 of International Business; UHY’s twice yearly look at the latest trends in business across the globe.

The guide provides comprehensive advice to companies – whether large or small – on all aspects of accessing today’s global markets, and a key focus for this edition is why businesses should take the plunge and go international.

“Governments around the world have recognised that facilitating cross-border trade is crucial to tackling the recession and putting the world’s economy back on track, and they have made major efforts to make it easier to do business internationally,” says UHY chairman Ladislav Hornan.

“Those businesses that are keen to take the plunge recognise that expanding to new markets creates a huge opportunity to secure long term growth and maximise profits through economies of scale and by becoming less dependent on the fortunes of any one economy.”

“Economic research consistently shows that companies which export to any country, in any financial climate, perform better than those which do not, and that has certainly proved true in this latest recession.”

Dennis Petri, Partner at UHY LLP, a member firm of UHY, comments: “Of course expanding your business abroad is a big step. Businesses looking to succeed can choose to do so with the help of our UHY network of professionals who can give extensive practical support and advice during the entire process.”

“UHY LLP and the UHY network have extensive experience and connections in taking companies through the different steps involved in the internationalisation process, from establishing in-country business contacts to researching the potential market, to addressing operational and trading issues and potential risks.”

Other areas covered by the guide include:

• How to get started – from initial research to planning and structuring the business
• Advice for companies on identifying their niche and how to exploit it in new international markets
• Risks and challenges for SMEs expanding internationally
• Tips on supporting the key staff that will help make the company’s international expansion a success
• An overview of the one-stop shop of advice and support that UHY’s global presence can offer, included dedicated International Desks working in close partnership with companies in their home markets

UHY points out that competing overseas usually involves greater risks than operating purely domestically, and requires a detailed understanding of uncertainties such as currency prices, payments, regulations, cultural matters, market structures and protocols. However, the potential benefits of a successful presence in international markets can hugely outweigh the risks of expansion, with successful international expansion helping businesses achieve:

• Increased growth beyond what is possible domestically – leading to economies of scale, such as larger production runs that reduce costs
• A competitive edge – exposure to intensive competition, new products and ideas, more efficient technologies and better working practices increase the company’s ability to compete
• Greater sales volume – translating into higher earnings, especially where margins in some markets exceed those in the domestic market, thereby increasing resilience of revenues and profits
• The ability to spread risks – while product sales in the home market may be in decline, those in overseas markets may be booming
• Higher profile and brand awareness – leading to increased reputation with existing customers and improved staff morale
• Spreading the exchange rate risk – for example, if a business does most of its trade in US dollars, it may want to start trading with Japan to spread the exchange rate risk between the dollar and the yen
• Increased commercial lifespan of products and services – increasing returns on investment in research & development.

UHY LLP and the global UHY network are ideally placed to help businesses assess and exploit global market opportunities, and minimise risks. Through UHY’s global presence across 270 business centres in 86 countries, UHY member firms are able to provide the on-the-ground knowledge and market insight which can be crucial for success.