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 & 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 & Control
  • Export Activities & 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 & 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 & Profit & 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 & Loss (& 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 & Management Control

The Problem with Absorption Costing

  • Costs for Strategic Planning & 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, & How it Flows In & 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 & Interpreting the Cash Flow Statement

The ‘Why’ & ‘How’ of Cash Flow Forecasting

  • Cash or Profit – What’s the Difference?
  • Cash, Profits & the ‘Time Value of Money’
  • The Essential Features of Cash Flow Forecasting
  • A Small Service Company & Its Cash
  • The Mill in South East Asia

Cash, Stocks & Working Capital

  • A Manufacturing Explosion
  • Software & Hardware Bargaining
  • The Difference Between Expansion & Just Being Big
  • Spreadsheets & Planning

Prices & Costs (& Some Other Things as Well

  • A Problem Involving Pricing & 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 & Markets
  • Optimising the Volumes & 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 & 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 & Software Base
  • Software Specifically for the Export Office
  • Communications & Wide Area Networks
  • Telecommunications, WANs, VANs & EDI