Calling the UK

The recent G20 summit in China has once again raised the profile of the Brexit debate. Not that it ever went away, but over the last few months it has been somewhat akin to a sleeping giant; we’ve heard it rumbling away in the background but we haven’t had to deal with the full force of its awakening.

But amidst all the debate; amidst all the predictions and warnings, all the reassessments and backtrackings, there is a danger that we may become so bound up in the now that we forget what has gone before. In particular, there is a danger that we may forget that the UK has not only survived the recession, its recovery has been such that we have come out the other side in a very strong position.

Take unemployment for example. Despite concerns over immigration, unemployment now is at the lowest level since 2005. Or what about GDP? Growth figures of 0.6% in the second quarter of 2016 were ahead of predictions prompting the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, to say that ‘the fundamentals of the British economy are strong.’

These figures and more not only demonstrate the strength of the UK economy, they also serve to make the UK an attractive destination for other businesses. So strong in fact that in the year to April 2016 the UK was the top destination of choice for inward investment in Europe. With 2,213 inward investment projects leading to the creation or safeguarding of 116,000 jobs, inward investment in the UK in the last financial year was up 11% on the previous year.

With the USA and China leading the way, inward investment has also been buoyed by the UK’s special relationship with India. In fact so strong is that reciprocal relationship that the UK is also the largest G20 investor in India with British companies accounting for 5% of all Indian jobs in the organised private sector.

How do statistics such as these translate into reality for business? It’s one thing talking about a reciprocal relationship or the UK being a destination of choice but what can businesses do to take advantage of the opportunities which are open to them? For many businesses the first port of call would be UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) which not only helps UK businesses to export and develop overseas markets but also helps overseas businesses to expand into the UK.

But there are also some simple steps which businesses can take to make themselves attractive to overseas and international contacts. For example, the value of having a telephone number or range of telephone numbers which best meet the needs of your international contacts cannot be underestimated. Simply by offering the most appropriate local, regional, national or international telephone number, businesses can encourage prospective clients and contacts to pick up the phone and get in touch.

Ally international telephone numbers to a well thought out telephone system can also help to improve the customer relationship and keep orders flowing. For example, organisations with multiple offices across the globe may opt for a follow the sun model, whereby calls are seamlessly rooted to the nearest available office which is open at that time. On the other hand, businesses with a single office can offer local telephone number options in a range of countries, with all calls being seamlessly diverted to the main office.

The UK’s debate over Brexit will continue to rumble on but that is no reason for businesses to sit back and wait until negotiations are concluded before they maximise their own international presence. The UK is already seen as an attractive country with which to do business. By choosing the right telephone number mix allied to a good telephone system, businesses have the chance to play their own part in the UK’s success story.

Written by Alison