One of the main determining success factors for businesses in North America is the strength of the US dollar. Whether you import from overseas, export, or operate solely on native soil, the value of the USD will have far-reaching consequences.
Happily, for now, at least, the US dollar is in a strong position. But in uncertain times, that can quickly change.
When we talk about the depreciation of the US dollar, i.e., a drop in its value, there are several negatives that a firm will have to overcome to redress the balance. It will cost more dollars to get the same amount of foreign currency – weakening your position while strengthening that of any overseas operators that you trade with.
But is it all doom and gloom? Absolutely not. Some opportunities do present themselves in a period of USD contraction.
That is why business owners in the US should always be keeping an eye on exchange rates. It is a stealth-like cost to your company that could have a considerable impact on your profitability.
Imports, interest rates, and buyer behavior
If you are a business that imports products or goods, a weakened US dollar is, typically, a bad thing for you.
Because your host currency is worth less to the international supplier, they may increase their prices so that they are achieving the profit they need from a transaction.
And if they want you to pay in their domestic currency, you will be getting less value for your USD – again, increasing your outlay. In that case, you should use services that allow you to transfer money internationally for free – at least that is one saving you can make. Some platforms offer this service, and so be sure to do your research and read a Currencies Direct review as well as those analyzing similar platforms.
So how will you cover the cost of more expensive imports? Often, this will cause a firm to increase the costs of its goods and services. Inflation can be a good thing for businesses where price increases are met with unwavering demand. However, there are ‘local’ alternatives that can keep their prices down, so buyer behavior can change completely.
This is where the quality of your products/services, and their perceived ‘value’ among consumers, is so vital. Without any brand loyalty, an increase in USD could be catastrophic for businesses in competitive markets.
Increasing prices lowers demand. But when supply remains the same, it is natural for buyers to seek cheaper, no-branded alternatives where possible.
Are there any benefits of USD depreciation?
Happily, it’s not a completely useless situation when the value of the US dollar drops. However, the chief beneficiaries are those who export and sell internationally.
If the value of the USD is low compared to the currency in the target country, people and businesses in that nation have more buying power so that they place larger orders.
And, let’s not forget that if your buyer purchases your goods and services in their foreign currency when you convert this to USD, you will have more money in your pocket thanks to the exchange rate.
Businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors could see a boom, too, with international visitors more likely to head to America when they can get more ‘bang for their buck.’ A depreciated USD makes the US a more attractive destination for holidays and leisure trips.
Generally speaking, a weaker dollar is not good news for US businesses – but not necessarily a disaster for those who are proactive and fluid in their response.