VGBack around January this year, the Rand was hovering at around 17 to the UK PND, and in my ‘Pen’ in February I said that in my totally uninitiated and unscientific opinion, the Rand would reach 20 to the pound and 12,50 to the USD by the end of the year. I cannot even say that this was an ‘educated guess’ – the truth is that it is just gut-feel, exactly how the small businessman makes decisions.

Those that are regular readers of my ‘pen’ will also remember that I said that whilst our economy here in SA seems to be sitting on ice, exporting SA goods is the way to go. And, of course, where better than the UK?

It seems that my pessimistic forecast was right. Now, almost at the end of June, the USD has already hit the R12,50 mark (fortunately not for long) and the Rand has touched 19 to the PND. Could it go even beyond my forecast – I hope not but it really is looking gloomy. All the more reason to get your products into the UK market as soon as possible. Those that invested in January have already made more than 10%, and that’s just if the money was sitting in the bank doing nothing.

By now, you will know that I’m no economist, but because of what we do I am often asked what I think will happen to the British economy if Greece was to exit from the Eurozone. My opinion is simply this – nothing. It is the Chinese stock market that we have to watch, the Greek impact on the UK is almost nil.

And in my opinion, problems in China (every economist reading this will probably be hyperventilating by now) will merely increase our opportunities as small businessmen, but if you’re not there you can’t even try to take advantage. “One first needs to buy a raffle ticket if one hopes to win a prize”.

So what can you do right now? You can start by doing some homework. For about R10,000 per month you can have your company in the UK up and running – with an office, staff and bank account. Surf the net to find out how much similar products to yours are selling for in the UK. Take your current cost price, add the cost of transport and duty and compare it to what you have seen on the internet. If it looks favourable – and I’m sure it will – why not get started?