This summer is set to be a bumpy one for the UK. Having experienced the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we’re currently in full swing of Euro 2012, with the 2012 London Olympics just around the corner. With these historic events set to draw attention from audiences across the globe-UK commercial property businesses need to make sure they’re ready, both to handle the increase in demand and to make best use of the opportunity for on-going business from global markets.
With consumer spending expected to rise by £750m and an estimated 5.3 million visitors planning to visit the capital this summer-commercial property businesses are expected to boom. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that it’s not just commercial property businesses in this region that will prosper-the ripple effect should mean suppliers and manufacturers across the UK will experience an increase in demand.
In order to successfully manage the impact across the entire supply chain, forward planning is essential. Commercial property businesses need to ensure there is a provision of goods to accommodate for the increase in demand, but should also be prepared for possible delays resulting from congestion on the roads. Commercial property businesses may want to consider arranging deliveries of materials, stock, parts etc to arrive in advance of the major events-to make sure they’re in a position to maximise profit, rather than struggle as a result of the increased demand.
With visitors coming to the capital from across the world, and even more likely to be eagerly tuning in to catch a glimpse of the action-the publicity of UK brands to international markets is potentially great, so it’s important to take advantage of this attention. An example of this is UK fashion commercial property retailers or designers likely to find an increase in demand coming from overseas markets as the world’s consumers make every effort to get the latest version of Kate Middleton’s opening ceremony outfit. Especially as reports have suggested the “Kate Middleton Effect” hit, when sales of a mock Alexander McQueen dress, worn by the new Royal during the Jubilee celebrations rose by 35 per cent on the same day-with the dress selling out online by the end of the day.
Interestingly, research conducted among commercial property businesses in the UK fashion industry has identified that 72 per cent believe Britain’s influence on the global fashion scene is rising. Irrespective of their sector, commercial property businesses should capitalise on this sentiment, as this feeling will only increase after the summer’s events. International markets are more and more opting to ‘buy British’, as proven from a series of recent successful profit figures from brands such as Bentley and Mulberry-so promoting the heritage of British commercial property company’s where possible will be crucial.
To sustain momentum, commercial property businesses should start thinking now about organising their operation to serve this international audience once the events are over-and introducing an export programme for their goods and services will be the best way to enable this.
Recognising those countries that have an appetite for your service or product is perhaps one of the main hurdles for commercial property businesses looking to trade internationally for the first time. Businesses should use this summer as a test bed, keeping a watchful eye on where the greatest demand presents itself, in what types of businesses, which products and who else is making moves to fulfil that demand. This will help commercial property businesses recognise which markets are likely to deliver the greatest success.
However, once businesses have acknowledged their target market, there is more to consider. Commercial properties should carry out in-depth research to gain an understanding of other factors that might have a bearing on the success of trading. Businesses may want to consider issues such as: is there a favourable exchange rate at present? Are there any stringent regulations in place within that country that may make shipping difficult? Are customs and taxes reasonable and easy to understand? Commercial property businesses can seek help from an experienced third party, such as the UKTI or a logistics provider accustomed with that territory.
In preparing, companies for a global audience, setting up localised versions of the company website will be crucial for marketing the brand and selling products to specific international markets- after all this is likely to be the business’ only shop window to the world.
Having experience changing levels of decline since the recession hit in 2008, the super summer of 2012 is precisely what the UK economy needs to kick start growth. The Government has put great importance on exports as the answer to improving a struggling domestic market-but starting out is often a frightening concept. Nevertheless, the excitement and attention that this summer’s events will attract for the UK is an opportunity not to be overlooked. Commercial property businesses willing to take the leap should seek support to make the most of this huge profit potential-putting measures in place now that will potentially deliver continuous economic growth in the future.