Attracting inward investment

Whatever your reaction to the Brexit vote it seems, for now at least, the predictions of the UK becoming isolated from world trade have failed to materialise. Admittedly the falling pound may have helped UK manufacturing to post its highest level of growth for two and a half years but other indicators are also positive.

So much so that the government has announced that more than £15 billion of additional inward investment has been secured since the referendum with other deals in the pipeline. Whilst the headline investment comes in areas such as infrastructure, renewable energy and property, businesses in other sectors are also seeing the Brexit bounce. This has led to growth being higher than expected in the third quarter of 2016 and the FTSE 100 opening 2017 on a new high; briefly breaking 7,200 for first time.

Interestingly the message that Britain is open for business has also been taken to heart by those looking for company acquisitions, with figures published by Thomson Reuters indicating that whilst domestic mergers and acquisitions were relatively quiet in 2016, inbound mergers and acquisitions totalled £117 billion compared to a five year annual average of some £70 billion.

But this is not a time to be complacent and if organisations wish to take advantage of this heightened interest in UK business, goods and services then now is the time to ensure that the communication and marketing strategy are aligned with overseas interests. Careful attention to the website message will go some way towards this but there is little point in ploughing money into a website revision if potential buyers and investors are put off by complex contact processes.

Quite simply, people buy from people and trust sits at the centre of the relationship. One key way of starting to build trust is to put some thought into the relationship, to show the other party that they mean something to you other than simply as a means to a sale. And what simpler way of doing this, than making it extremely easy to get in touch?

Whether your target market is in Paris or New York, in Beijing or Brisbane there is no excuse for you to expect potential buyers to phone a UK number in order to get in touch. Offering a local international number not only makes it easier to call, it also indicates has serious you are about the potential relationship. And with calls to that local number being seamlessly redirected to your UK, or any other, base there is no need for you to establish a physical presence in a country in order to attract custom.

Depending on the nature of the marketplace; international country, city or regional numbers are available, meaning that you can target your marketing efforts in a way that will best attract potential buyers. For example, when working with potential Chinese buyers you may opt for a China 401 number, which enables people from across China to get in touch by dialling a single number. Alternatively, if your potential customer base is in the United States, you may decide that offering a range of US regional numbers is likely to attract more custom.

Formal Brexit negotiations have yet to get underway and is therefore difficult to predict the exact pattern of international trade over the next few years. However, by taking steps now to attract both overseas buyers and inward investment, businesses maximise their opportunities to be in a strong position to carry the Brexit bounce through 2017.

Written by Alison