Half of exporters yet to update trading plans

Research from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking* reveals that almost half (48 per cent) of British exporters surveyed have not reviewed their exporting strategies a year after the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Yet 85 per cent of exporters trade with the European Union (EU) and 54 per cent say it is their main foreign market.

Of those that have reviewed their strategies since the referendum, some 27 per cent say they planned to look further afield to take opportunities outside the EU. But nearly one in three (30 per cent) plan to focus on domestic opportunities instead.

Clive Higglesden, Head of Trade & Supply Chain Product for Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking, says: “With a year since the vote and negotiations to leave the EU now underway, it’s concerning to consider that almost half of British exporters have yet to assess what changes may occur and what action needs to be taken.

“Wait-and-see is not really an adequate strategy for exporters, and businesses should be acting now to manage any risks on the horizon and possibly explore new opportunities. However it is comforting to see that a quarter of firms are already looking at new markets beyond the EU, which is important for ensuring reduced impact from any loss of access to the EU Single Market.

“For companies that have elected to focus on the UK, they need to be conscious that they will be more greatly impacted by UK business cycles. Diversification into new markets is an important way of managing this risk.”

Higglesden adds: “New markets means new risks and ways of doing business, so it’s important that they seek the support and guidance of trusted advisers. But, they also represent new opportunities and new revenue streams.

“In uncertain times, businesses need support to identify and manage both risks and opportunities. We also know that those that proactively look to optimise their working capital are better placed to weather any storms that are on the horizon.”

At Beavis Morgan, our specialist advisers to UK SMEs are able to assist with all aspects of business performance including ensuring that adequate measures are put in place to protect the health of your business, both now and for the future.

Contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist.

* Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking questioned more than 1,000 exporting businesses of all sizes across the UK about the challenges and opportunities they currently face.