British Prime Minister Theresa May has just fired the starting gun on the UK’s negotiations to withdraw from the European Union with the serving of notice to leave under Article 50. Whatever your own personal views on the implications for the British economy and its effect on your business, it will be a move full of threats (loss of some markets in Europe) and opportunities (possible lessening of regulation and opening up of new markets around the world). Numerous countries have already expressed a keen interest to agree trade deals with us, such as Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA). You may even start receiving enquiries from such countries before Britain leaves the EU.
It will be two years before the UK formally leaves the warm embrace or tight stranglehold of the EU, depending on your own opinion. That sounds a long time but it should be used to prepare for marketing your business further afield. The following are just a few marketing and trade media that may need reviewing and improving.
It may be some time since you drew up marketing literature, such as brochures – whether printed or digital – especially if you have been relying on steady, repeat trade with companies within the EU. In future you might be dealing with enquiries from across the world – is your marketing literature up to date, in plain English, and free of jargon that some nationalities might not be accustomed to?
Terms and Conditions of Business
Again, are your Terms and Conditions of Business (T&Cs) easy to understand? Do they need revising to take account of trading outside the EU? You may need to consult a lawyer for a review, but having done so ensure that the revised T&Cs (as well as marketing literature mentioned above) are checked through by a person not involved in their drafting, preferably a proofreader. My Case study 1, A legal agreement, is an instructive tale about drafting and checking legal documents:
Your business website may need rewording to take account of enquiries from a much broader range of countries. Is your website the best it can be? Is it outward looking to the whole world? It is always time well spent regularly reviewing and tweaking the website content to attract the attention of new client types. But do remember to proofread your website content before posting it – better still get a professional proofreader to cast an objective eye over the revised material.
Need proofreading advice? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen York is a freelance proofreader with over 25 years' experience in book and journal publishing offering proofreading services to publishers, businesses, organizations, educational institutions, academics, students, and authors. He regularly proofreads in digital format a wide variety of media in an extensive range of specialist subject areas, including business, finance, economics, education, marketing, and real estate.