As an accountant, it’s your job to advise your small business clients and give them a chance to beat the mortality rate of a system setup for big businesses. One of the best ways to do that is to help them manage their costs and increase their share of the market. Urging your clients to go global is a great way to do that.
The world is getting smaller. Importing and exporting products is no longer reserved for large businesses. Often, sticking to a local market will doom small businesses. By urging them to take advantage of the global economy, you’re increasing your clients’ chances of survival.
1. Learn Supply Chain Management
Your clients likely won’t know how to set up a supply chain that’s right for their business. From advising your clients to build redundancies into their supply chain, like not relying on a single supplier for their main products, to ensuring they don’t sacrifice quality for cost, thereby causing more problems in the long run, they will need you as their key advisor to guide them through the process.
From advising your clients to build redundancies into their supply chain, like not relying on a single supplier for their main products, to ensuring they don’t sacrifice quality for cost
It’s also a good idea to be aware of supply chain and inventory management software when it comes time for your clients to invest in the tools they’ll need to properly manage their operations.
2. Know Your Regulations
When buying and selling goods internationally, your client will face everything from taxes and tariffs to customs inspections and border delays.
The current trade landscape is changing fast. With NAFTA currently being re-negotiated, our agreement with the European Union currently on ice, and tariffs changing the landscape with China, many small businesses will be rightly confused. By helping them navigate a difficult and ever-changing landscape, you’ll offer your clients a chance to find the best possible countries to work with avoid the volatility.
3. Study Global Trends
If you truly want to take the place of the CFO for many clients, you need to understand the current trends in global trade. There are multiple innovations that will allow you to help your clients keep their costs down while scaling globally.
Knowing the overall trends for the industry and what can affect the materials your suppliers are using helps clients anticipate delays or changes, and make adjustments before they cause a disruption.
Instead of seeking only international suppliers and customers, why not have a global workforce?
You should also counsel your client to not just look at their own supply chain, but the one their suppliers are using as well. Knowing the overall trends for the industry and what can affect the materials your suppliers are using helps clients anticipate delays or changes, and make adjustments before they cause a disruption.
4. Be a Pro at Etiquette
While many countries are used to dealing with American companies, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own unique way of negotiating a deal or writing a contract. Being well versed on the difference between negotiating a price in China and Germany can mean giving your client the leg up they need when striking a deal.
5. Understand the Supplier Market
The first place you can start to help your clients is advising them on where they can find the types of supplies they’re looking for. Many regions are known for specific types of goods. And once you start looking at suppliers in that region, you can often negotiate a better price due to more competition. A lot of manufacturing is currently done in China, but Vietnam and the Philippines are offering incentives to help stimulate more trade.
While Italy is the home of high-end leather and materials, a lot of products created from those raw materials are made in Portugal. Understanding the global marketplace will go a long way in helping to keep your client’s costs down. Our country guides are a great resource to find products countries are known for, how to find a supplier and negotiate a deal, and what regulations those products will face once you import them.
6. Send Efficient Payments
The last thing you want your clients to have to deal with is a broken supply chain due to delayed or incorrect payments. A missed payment means no supplies, which means unhappy customers, which means you’re clients are going to have cash flow issues that could sink their businesses. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste on something as simple as making a payment. Veem offers end to end tracking for payments to over 90 countries. Not only that, we integrate with Quickbooks and Xero so reconciling those payments will be a piece of cake.
A missed payment means no supplies, which means unhappy customers, which means you’re clients are going to have cash flow issues that could sink their businesses.
Most small businesses find the idea of going global daunting. To help increase your small firm’s success rate, you can focus on only retail businesses, or perhaps specialize in working with business owners who are looking to work with a Chinese supplier, or outsource work to India.
Finding your niche will not only help you market your services, it will also allow you to better serve your clients and become the trusted advisor that frees you from focusing on billable hours and moves you into value-based pricing.