The UK is a trading nation. For centuries we have been importing and exporting goods to countries across the world. It is what helped build the Navy into the largest sea going force the world has seen to help protect the sea lanes to the colonies. Therefore international trade and exports should not pose too many problems for businesses these days.
Interestingly though a survey from the British Chambers of Commerce show that exporting is not something that is done by many SMEs. Most businesses have ambitions to grow domestically (over 90% or those surveyed) but this falls to 43% that have ambitions to grow internationally.
Another interesting statistic is that 55% of current exporters report that there was a positive impact on their profit within 12 months of entering new international markets. This explodes the myth that you cannot be profitable if you export or that it takes too long to recover costs of setting up export markets. Many of the companies that do not export state that increased funding would encourage them to export.
Fear of the unknown is often stated as a barrier to exporting and not understanding local traditions and ways of doing business can be a barrier. But there are many support services for SMEs who wish to export or are thinking how to go about it. Organisations such as BCC, UKTI and others can provide practical advice support and sometimes business connections. UKTI for instance works with UK Embassy trade commissioners to not only research particular markets but also set up meetings with suitable contacts for companies looking for customers and distributors in the overseas country.
SGBA has experts that have set up overseas agent and distribution networks and have spent much of their career in exports. We can support SMEs in their search for suitable markets and help them develop export plans. For an obligation free discussion on how you can develop export capability contact us or call us on 07941426807