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INTERNATIONAL NEWS 15 BREXIT – THE AFTERMATH Two Chamber members look at how Brexit will affect businesses. Graeme McLeish, SEL Business Languages Many of us may well be thinking that our green and cherished land will go slowly down the pan after Brexit is implemented…assuming, that is, that there are no legal obstacles put in the way or as-yet unknown twists and turns which would derail the whole thing. But there is a way for the country to make significant gains – by stepping up its export sales outside the EU to bring new money in from outside, and not relying on moving the same money around via domestic trade. Because Britain will surely be faced with tariffs to buy in materials and goods from the EU for manufacture, assembly or sale. Just as it will to be able to export to the EU too. And that’s before it considers the weakness of the pound making imports even more pricey. Britain will have to re-arrange its shop window to make its services and products much more attractive to direct export customers. One way to do that is by providing language support to the products and services leaving our shores – so that export customers buy in their own language. In the Brexit run-up, all of us at SEL Business Languages Ltd (SELBL), have been doing our bit for UK plc and North West in general. Working to the maxim that the UK needs more new money from exports in order to prosper, the company has set up an export language promotional campaign. This is firmly based on the principle of win-win for both client and provider alike, as there are financial incentives for Chamber members, which go towards either the translation of relevant material or towards training in the particular target language. The principle behind this is simple – how many times do you see the likes of Toyota or Nestlé trading in Japanese or French here in the UK? That’s right - you don’t. So, turning that on its head, the campaign is all about making your export customers want to buy from you, or want to buy more from you, because they are in their comfort zone by virtue of communicating and trading in their own language. Benefiting from this, we got talking to various patent attorneys in our client database about how to support, exploit and export an invention outside Europe for any of their clients and for the benefit of money coming into the UK from there. One patent attorney came on board on behalf of one of their clients who had an invention needing to be checked against existing patents in Japan, all of which were in Japanese. That is where we came in – and systematically translated the patents into English over several weeks via our Greater Manchester and Shanghai offices to give back to the attorney practice in up-to-date specialist English, suitable to transfer to their customer. In turn, the detail will help the product go ahead and be marketed in the target language in the Far East and generate vital export revenue. For any important commercial translation, interpreting or language training needs; any of 50 plus languages; or to get more information on the export languages campaign, call 01204 669 766. www.selbusinesslanguages.com Paul Daine, Managing Director, Premium Collections Ltd There are many of us who are still in shock at how the Brexit vote went, but the consumers and businesses of Britain have to come to terms with the consequences of the leave vote and get on with our personal and business lives. However, does anybody really know yet what the overall implications and effects of the leave vote will have on us as a nation? Put 10 business owners in a room and you will probably get 10 different opinions. For businesses that grant credit to their clients for either goods or services the risk of not getting paid is as high now as it was at the start of the recession in 2008. A recent survey revealed that around a third of all business payments are overdue. The value can be higher for businesses that export. So, how can you minimise the risk of non-payment? Firstly, implement a robust set of terms and conditions and ensure that all of your customers have had a copy. Your terms should clearly state what your payment terms are and the consequences of non-payment ie: you will impose late payment interest and/or charges in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013. Include a retention of title clause so you can recover goods that have not been paid for. For exporters it is also important to state which country has jurisdiction for the contract if there is a dispute or nonpayment. Most UK exporters will require any disputes or claims to be settled in accordance with UK law. However, UK laws relating to debt collection and enforcement were significantly drafted by the EU so enforcement tools such as the European Payment Order may be affected by our decision to withdraw from the EU. Data protection laws which have been in place since 1998 are due to be replaced by the EU General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018. Will that still happen, who knows? It is therefore now more important than ever that all businesses have a clearly defined credit management policy which sets out the processes required to chase late payments and escalate from their own credit control team (if they are big enough to have one) to a professional debt collection agency who can take over responsibility for chasing the “debtors” irrespective of where they are in the World. Often the simple switch from in-house credit control in English to using a debt collection agency who will contact debtors in their native language and currency if required is enough to resolve any disputes or other reasons for late payment. Good credit management is the cornerstone of any successful business and failure to implement a robust credit management policy can result in the failure of the business. Other issues to bear in mind are the availability of funding and/or credit insurance for exports post Brexit, exchange rate fluctuations, interest rates in other countries and the incidental costs of trading overseas such as bank charges for foreign transactions. For further information contact Paul Daine on 0161 962 4695 or email paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk. www.premiumcollections.co.uk


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