After seeing a 50% increase in turnover in the last two years, Clifford Sells is tapping into new markets to drive continued growth post-Brexit. Established in Bedford in 2003, the company provides recruitment and consulting services for technical communications, serving clients across the globe.
Clifford Sells offers businesses the technical communications expertise they need to create documents such as product literature, marketing collateral and sales support material. Additionally, through its consultancy service, the business advises companies on content strategy to ensure their customers are given accurate and consistent information, helping to improve sales.
As a company that exports its services to a variety of markets within Europe, Clifford Sells is preparing for the UK’s exit from the European Union by exploring markets further afield, with a focus on Japan, Australia and the USA.
Additionally, with concerns around whether free movement of workers between the UK and EU will continue after Brexit, Clifford Sells is planning to open a satellite office in Brussels to make sure its workers can continue to serve clients across Europe.
As Clifford Sells provides contractors, as well as permanent staff, to help its clients with their content strategy, it often needs to pay its staff before it receives payment from customers. To help improve cashflow, Clifford Sells has a £150,000 Export Finance facility with Bibby Financial Services (BFS), giving the business access to working capital and taking the administrative hassle out of chasing payments from international debtors.
As the business exports its services to a variety of countries, it needed operational funds in multiple currencies for dealing with a variety of international debtors. BFS was able to provide a Foreign Exchange service, offering both spot conversions for more immediate needs, as well as forward contracts to minimise risk for future currency requirements.
Mark Clifford, Founder and Managing Director at Clifford Sells, said:
“Our strategy when it comes to Brexit is to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
“Expanding into markets like Japan and the USA should not only provide new revenue streams for the business, but also reduces our reliance on markets that may be more exposed to Brexit.
“As we operate in overseas markets, our clients’ payment terms can span from 30 days to 90 days, but we pay our contracts on a monthly basis which puts pressure on cashflow.
“The funding line from BFS gives our business access to working capital while also helping us grow our operations in markets outside of the bloc. We can’t continue to hang onto every word of the Brexit negotiations and futureproofing our business is a key priority for us.
Sarah Payne, Relationship Manager at Bibby Financial Services, said:
“Clifford Sells’ proactivity in preparing for Brexit serves as a good example of the importance of thinking ahead in business. It’s a great company to work with and has come a long way since our relationship began 11 years ago.
“Its success is testament to the importance of having flexible funding in place to support growth, with the facility having steadily grown alongside the business over the years.
“With Clifford Sells exploring overseas opportunities, the new FX capability means it can release cash from invoices in the currencies it needs.”