Wholesalers occupy an important, but difficult position between manufacturers and retail businesses. They work directly with manufacturers to efficiently import goods, and help retailers to access these affordably and without the usual bureaucratic hassle. In essence, they function as a logistics specialist for both their customers and their suppliers.
With the British Chamber of Commerce’s recent release of their Quarterly Economic Survey, the fears of economic analysts and business owners alike have been confirmed: The UK’s economy is weakening. A combination of slowing global trade, rising international trade barriers, and the unending uncertainty of Brexit at home are beginning to take their toll on businesses.
For a manufacturer, getting and maintaining control over working capital is a particularly critical issue. Ensuring that revenues come in on time, so that timely payments can be issued to suppliers, is critical. After all, a manufacturer can’t operate efficiently, or meet deadlines, if its supply chain is interrupted in any way. Where other businesses would be seriously inconvenienced, a cash flow interruption can completely halt production for a manufacturing business.
Martin Roscheisen has been a key figure in Silicon Valley’s tech startup scene since the 1990s. Since that time, he’s founded, co-founded, or been otherwise involved in the launch of numerous successful startups, most notably including FindLaw, eGroups, and Nanosolar. In 2015, Roscheisen took on his biggest challenge yet: breaking into the diamond industry.
After a series of votes to determine how the UK would approach Brexit at the end of March, parliament has finally voted to seek an extension to Article 50, delaying the country’s departure from the EU. After seeing her deal defeated by an historic margin again, Prime Minister May has announced that she would seek a third vote on her deal before the end of the month. Speaker Bercow, however, has indicated that such a vote would not be allowed in the current session.
While politicians might still be issuing opinions about the pros and cons of globalisation, businesses have long come to terms with the reality of competing in global markets. In order to sustain steady growth in the long term, businesses need access to international suppliers and markets.
It’s natural for businesses to prioritise their near-term bottom line above all else. Driving growth, managing cash flow interruptions, and investing in innovation for the future is expensive. Businesses who don’t control their costs, or misallocate funds, can quickly find themselves in financial difficulties. Cutting costs in the wrong places, however, can have similarly disastrous consequences, especially in the long term.
On March 12, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal will face its second vote in parliament. If the deal is rejected again, as it was last month, another vote will be held by March 13 to determine whether the UK should leave the EU on March 29 without a deal. If this is also rejected, Parliament will vote by March 14 on whether to seek to extend the Article 50 deadline until the end of June.
In the past two years, UK businesses have been forced to operate with no clear knowledge of what kind of economic environment they’ll face on the morning of March 30, 2019. This uncertainty has left them and their international partners unable to make the preparations necessary to smoothly adapt to the UK’s post-EU economy when it arrives. The total lack of concrete information coming from the government has made it very difficult to predict what kinds of disruptions might occur to trade, and how businesses might prepare to deal with them.