With a 0.3% growth rate for the first quarter of 2013, and 0.7% for the second quarter1, we can’t claim that business is booming in the UK. In contrast, the Chinese economy is predicted to grow by 7.4% this year, with estimates for Indonesia, India, Pakistan and regions of Africa ranging from 4.4% to 6.2%2.
Now is the time for UK businesses to take advantage of growth in other countries by exporting. And really, with only 62 million people in the UK, we are only a drop in the proverbial ocean! There are more than 7 billion people on Earth, and plenty of them would love to buy innovative British products.
Why wouldn’t you want to export? At Web-Translations, our sales consultants have heard every excuse possible, starting with “We are just too small to export”. Our client portfolio includes many small businesses who export, and who have greatly benefitted from international trade, and with a well localised and optimised website, there is no reason why small companies can’t successfully export. There is no need to open a foreign office or fly around the world. Instead, find distributors and agents who can help you crack their market. Take advantage of video conferencing products, Skype and email to communicate with them. Promoting your website, which will bring in direct buyers, is also vital.
Perhaps you feel that your product won’t be understood outside of the UK? If you do have a niche British product, it might actually be incredibly successful overseas! At the moment, British products are very trendy around the world – take advantage of this to launch into a new market, which might actually be hungrier for your product than the UK.
Another often repeated argument against exporting is that “shipping is too hard”. If your products are perishable or heavy, it may be best to look into outsourcing the process. There are international logistics companies which can help with warehousing and shipping outside the UK. The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is a government department which runs an Overseas Market Introduction Service, which can offer advice on shipping methods.
The UKTI and other organisations can also help if you have worries about getting paid, about legal requirements in other countries, as well as helping to find business partners abroad. There really is no reason to stay at home – get exporting!
7 October 2013 14:47