As a healthcare business owner, you always want to make sure that you’re aware of the best business practices, as well as remain aware of any current trends that could impact your business.
Something that you may eventually run into is the need to have an awareness of foreign exchange rates. If you import medical supplies from another country, or if you sell and ship supplies to individuals that live in another country, you’re going to need to have an understanding of how exchange rates work. Fluctuations to foreign currency mean you could find yourself having to pay more or less for certain supplies. Or even if you’re not directly importing and exporting goods, you could still be indirectly impacted by foreign exchange rates.
Here is a brief introduction to understanding how exchange rates (also sometimes referred to as forex trading) could impact your business.
Factors of foreign exchange rate
So, what exactly impacts the foreign exchange rate? While this is a complex question, there are key factors that some people use when forecasting foreign exchange rates. One is looking at the GDP of a country; a higher GDP means there is a greater demand for that country’s products, which could increase currency.
Other factors include increased producer costs (these are often pushed to consumers), high employment rates (indicating greater demand for products), and looking at the interest rates. Those skilled at looking at trends may even trade in forex markets, using tools such as MT4 indicators to look at patterns within the market.
Effects of exchange rates on businesses
Any business that imports or exports goods or materials will find themselves impacted by the foreign exchange rate. You will see both depreciation and appreciation of currency rates. When there is depreciation, exports are cheaper, but imports are more expensive. When there is appreciation, exports are more expensive, but imports are cheaper.
What this means for you is always having to look at profit margin when importing or exporting goods. You want to make sure the transaction benefits your company and results in an increase in profit margin. For some companies, importing foreign goods benefits their profit margin, while others lose profit. It all depends on where you’re importing from and what you’re importing!
Selling and buying: direct impact
If you’re selling or buying with an overseas company, you’re going to face a direct impact on foreign exchange rates! If you’re selling overseas and submit the money in a foreign currency, you may realize that you’re receiving less money than you thought you would, depending on the currency rate.
If you’re buying overseas, you may face fluctuations in the cost of supplies. For example, if exchange rates vary from month to month, you may find yourself paying more for your supplies one month than you did the previous month. This can make it hard to manage a budget, especially if the difference in cost is significant.
Indirect impacts on businesses
Of course, even if you’re not directly selling or exporting overseas, you still might find yourself being indirectly impacted by foreign exchange rates. Even if most of your exchanges happen domestically, the companies you work with are impacted by foreign exchange rates, which could cause them to adjust their rates.
Or, the economy overall might be impacted. For example, many countries import fuel from overseas; changes in the exchange rate could impact the price of fuel, which could result in domestic transportation fees rising. Foreign exchange rates impact businesses more than many companies are aware of!
Approaching the currency market
There is always some risk in the currency market because there isn’t a way to fully predict how exchange rates could impact future exchanges. However, there are ways to make smart business moves that can help you approach the currency market as effectively as possible.
For starters, work with a currency specialist. They’ll help you achieve a rate quote. You’ll then send the funds needed for the exchange, then they’ll handle the rest of the transaction. Another way to approach exchanges is by securing a contract with the foreign business that guarantees a specific rate, even if there are fluctuations with the exchange rate.
The best practices when importing or exporting products from a foreign country are something you want to have an awareness of. There are ways to have a general idea of when fluctuations within the exchange rate markets are coming. If needed, work with a financial expert to make the right decision for your company.