Tag Archive | "manufacturing"

Should contractor accountants suggest that struggling clients look overseas?

SMEs could find that trading overseas is the best way to survive the economic downturn, according to Mark Prisk, the enterprise minister.

In order to create a truly global business, firms who already trade abroad should offer help and advice to limited company contractors looking to do similarly. International advisers on trade should then work together and ministers should engage with their counterparts abroad to build economic relationships.

The Nat West / RBS banking group says that the UK could see a boom in exports but that will only happen if businesses get the requisite help. 69% of firms believe the time is right to increase their overseas trading but they cannot get the help they need to do so. Two-thirds of companies want to see more help from the banks and 58% say they would have more confidence to export if they received advice from overseas trade experts.

Nat West / RBS is now offering free training courses to advise firms on the best way to manage risk when venturing into overseas trading markets.

A separate survey from telecoms company O2 found that 40% of companies plan to trade overseas next year and over a third of them say overseas economies are becoming more welcoming towards small businesses. Out of the top 10 export markets of choice, six are outside Europe, with the most popular being the U.S.

Another problem facing small businesses is the excessive bureaucracy that comes with exporting goods and services. According to a recent report from the FSB, 25% of UK businesses already export but nearly a third of them say that excessive red tape is stifling their efforts, whilst 48% say they find fluctuations in currency to be a major obstacle.

The chairman of the FSB, Mike Cherry, said that the manufacturing and defence sectors offer big export opportunities for small businesses but in order to be successful they need to know how to access available support. The Federation has called on the government to be more pro-active when it comes to promoting assistance and also to launch a campaign that highlights the advantages of the Services Directive.

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Image: Destination for the day… by antwerpenR

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2011 looks encouraging for most industry sectors

Contractor accountants with clients operating in or relying on a number of UK sectors will be pleased to hear of some positive growth.

For example, new research from the EEF shows that the UK’s manufacturing sector reported strong output and good order balances in quarter three.

Manufacturers have already started hiring new staff and making new investments which will undoubtedly come as welcome news for contractors. Ms Lee Hopley, the chief economist at EEF, said that the manufacturing industry was ending 2010 on a high and this will provide the sector with a strong footing to begin the New Year. EEF also predicts that manufacturing and engineering will outperform other contributors to the UK economy in 2011.

It’s not only the UK that has witnessed this welcome boost in manufacturing either. Markit Economics recently reported that last month, the manufacturing sector across Europe increased at its fastest rate for 4 months.

But manufacturing isn’t the only sector planning to expand next year. Research by PwC shows that 28% of firms in the UK intend to increase recruitment in 2011. In addition to manufacturing, the technology and services industries should see vigorous recruitment, the study showed.

The recent Growth Review from the government also contained encouraging news for a lot of UK contractors.

David Frost, from the British Chamber of Commerce, said that enterprises will be reassured now that the focus is to return to balanced, sustainable growth. The review talks about creating a framework for growth and also acknowledges the vital contribution made by SMEs. However, it remains to be seen whether the coalition can bring down the barriers that have been preventing firms from thriving.

One piece of not so positive news regarding the service sector has come from the CBI. Although professional and business services have remained steady over the past few months, consumer services have tumbled. The CBI cited reduced consumer discretionary spending as a contributory factor along with rising costs and falling prices.

© 2010 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Image: Growing by Simon Peckham

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