Export Practice & Management
Main Topics of Study:
What an Export Business is All About
- What does a business, any business, actually do?
- What is management?
- Are there any such things as management principles?
- What is special about an export business?
- A birds-eye view of what an export business does
- So what is the point of it all?
Companies and Businesses
- A ‘business’ or a ‘company’?
- Types of UK businesses
- The significant characteristics of incorporated companies
- National variations in financial reporting
- The implications of national variations
How We Measure Our Progress
- ‘It seems like a very good idea!’
- Turning a business idea into a business
- What a financial management system does not measure
Organising the Information Flows
- Management information and control
- Export activities and management records
- Investment in the market and in the distributor
- Keeping an eye on the profitability
- Keeping an eye on the cash
- The basis of longer-term planning
- The business as a machine
Management, the Business and the Finance
- What is a balance sheet?
- The story of a new exporter
- Bookkeeping without any books
- Some general points to consider
- Working capital
- The alternative layout of a balance sheet
The Trading and Profit and Loss Account
- The ‘accounting period’
- The link with the balance sheet
- The ‘accruals concept’ – this is important!
- Which figures do we include?
- Which ‘profit’ figures should management be interested in?
- What about accounting for value added tax?
- Calculating the profit (or loss, as it may be)
- What does the profit and loss (and the balance sheet) tell us?
How We Calculate the Profit
- How do the financial figures reach your desk?
- A matter of presentation
- But what happened to the cash during the year?
Thinking About Costs
- Why we need to think about costs before doing the sums
- Why do we want to calculate the costs anyway?
- Some costing definitions
- Costs for routine pricing and management control
The Problem with Absorption Costing
- Costs for strategic planning and for tactical pricing
- The price reduction strategy
- The sales promotion increase strategy
- The idea of ‘contribution’ towards fixed costs
- Accounting for the costs of fixed assets
Cash, and How it Flows In and Out
- A reminder about ‘working capital’
- Which is important, profits or cash?
- The working capital cycle
- Keeping a grip on cash flows
- The cash flow statement
- Analysing and interpreting the cash flow statement
The ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Cash Flow Forecasting
- Cash or profit – what’s the difference?
- Cash, profits and the ‘time value of money’
- The essential features of cash flow forecasting
- A small service company and its cash
- The mill in South East Asia
Cash, Stocks and Working Capital
- A manufacturing explosion
- Software and hardware bargaining
- The difference between expansion and just being big
- Spreadsheets and planning
Prices and Costs
- A problem involving pricing and profits
- Break-even volumes
- The break-even chart
- Using a computer spreadsheet
- Using simple algebra to calculate break-even volumes
- Different ways of looking at contribution
- Developing the idea of contribution
- Incorporating a profit target
- Several products and markets
- Optimising the volumes and prices
Coping With the Uncertainties
- What do we mean by uncertainty or risk?
- Quantifying probabilities
- The contract problem
- The successful (?) distributor problem, continued
- The exhibition stand problem re-visited
- Selecting a decision strategy
- Decision making in the (uncertain) management context
Information Technology and Exporting
- The place of technology in a business
- System design
- The system architecture
- The operational requirements
- What do users need to know of the technology?
- The hardware and software base
- Software specifically for the export office
- Communications and wide area networks
- Telecommunications, WANs, VANs and EDI