Importing & Exporting

How to stay agile and manage disruption

Updated: 12 November 2021

Emma Jones CBE is a business author and Founder of Enterprise Nation. She gives her insights on the challenges businesses are facing and how you can adapt in the months ahead.

Businesses are switching to UK suppliers

A variety of sectors have been hit by delays to imports, additional admin required for international trade and increases to the cost of raw materials, shipping and energy. 

Many small businesses selling into the EU have put trade on hold due to the admin burden, but they remain ambitious about international sales. As imports were delayed, businesses reacted rapidly, turning to UK-based manufacturing and production partners. 

Taking advantage of new opportunities

Some challenges will continue, such as the price of shipping, but we expect new technology solutions from the private sector will help ease the burden of completing customs documentation. At Enterprise Nation we’re also working on extra support, like the launch of an international trade hub that will quickly connect small businesses to export content, events, and trusted advisers. 

Tips for staying agile

1) Keep close to your customers

It’s really important to listen to what your market is after. Keep an open dialogue with key customers, send surveys by email and gather as much feedback as you can. This will help you meet their needs now and be ready for future requirements. 

2) Manage the money

Staying on top of your cash flow can help you to adapt more quickly. The final quarter of 2021 is a good time to evaluate if you’ll need additional funds to accelerate your growth the following year.

3) Motivate your team

A happy team makes for a productive work environment. Check in with employees regularly, be up front about changes and priorities, and head off any concerns. We’re getting used to being around other people again, so put on socials and remind everyone of your company mission, purpose and goals. 

4) Embrace expansion

There are always opportunities for small businesses, and the changes to our lives following the pandemic have created even more possibilities. From selling to larger customers, to expanding across borders or launching new products, planning for growth now can help you take advantage.

5) Get support

Delivering on this growth requires commitment and hard work. Surround yourself with support, whether it be mentors who can be a sounding board, professionals with expertise in specific topics, or peer groups of business owners who have been there and done it. Use their wisdom to help you adapt to the changing environment.

Enterprise Nation is a vibrant community of small businesses and advisors, providing resources, expertise and connections to help you run and grow your business. Visit for more information.

While we want to help as much as we can, the information found here is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered financial or legal advice. To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained here. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent legal advice.

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