“Government needs the help of those that interact with SMEs on a regular basis to get the message out loud and clear that competing in the global marketplace makes business sense.” Lord Green, Minister for Trade and Investment
Above is the call Government made today in order to continue the drive to get UK PLC exporting. Well, as a company that has and is successfully working with companies exporting we have for a long time been banging this drum. But it’s time to bang it again! So I would like to outline some reasons why UK businesses need to be exporting, the benefits of doing so and some considerations around how to do it.
Well it’s simple. You’ll make more money. A business confining itself to a country or even geographical region will hit a ceiling, eventually – it’s a basic fact. Reaching out to foreign markets allows you to expand your customer or consumer base, make more sales, develop your brand and ultimately benefit your bottom line. Exporting makes sense in every way as long as it’s a service or product with potential. Do we just talk the talk? At Kwintessential we realised this potential many years ago so started the process of identifying areas we need to be and now have offices in the USA, Argentina, South Africa and the UAE. We walk the walk.
So what are the main benefits of exporting other than money, money, money? Here are 5 which may or may not fit with your industry, i.e. a glass manufacturer and an interior design will have very different needs and experiences.
1. Diversification: by exporting you diversity your markets. This reduces dependency on the domestic market and spreads risks.
2. Excess Production Capacity: with more orders you can increase production to achieve an efficient level of production while at the same time reducing costs, whether that be raw materials, suppliers, fixed costs, etc.
3. Business Stability: if your business is subject to revenue fluctuations, exporting can help stabilise your order books which in turn allows you to really tighten up on operations.
4. Product Life Cycle Extension: when products reach the maturity stage in your domestic market, a company may look to replace or invest in new ones. However, by exporting you potentially allow the life cycle of a product to be extended.
5. Product Improvement: competing in international markets is an excellent source of learning to gain more competitiveness in the domestic and/or international market.
One of the big benefits now if a company is looking to export is this – it has never been so easy. Now is the time to grasp the opportunity and make it work for you.
How do I start exporting?
So you have a service or product you want to export. What next? Well you have two options – 1) do it yourself or 2) contact an organisation that will help you do it. At Kwintessential we went with option 1 simply because we felt comfortable in doing so and understood the ins and outs of it all. However, it was hard work, we made mistakes and it possibly took a touch longer than we planned for. But it worked and worked well. Option 2 is to contact an organisation that does this day in day out, and that is UKTI. They have an amazing set-up which includes worldwide offices, advisors, resources and funding. They can assist with everything from market research right down to arranging meetings with stakeholders in companies abroad that are worth talking to. Simply visit them at UKTI and get in touch with your local advisor.
How can we help?
When you plan your export drive you need to take a lot into consideration, whether that is legal implications, taxes, language differences or anything else, it’s a lot to take on. You will need help.
Kwintessential designed a suite of services aimed specifically at UK businesses wanting to export. You can visit the page here at Export Support or contact us about your needs. Essentially we can help you with anything that falls under the language/culture umbrella in business but with some rather innovative services on top. So for example, we can help translate your business cards, website and product materials; we can run an analysis of your brand or product in the new market(s); we can give you some cultural awareness training to help sharpen up your negotiation skills for China or help cement a relationship in Kuwait.
If you need help with other areas such as legal and logistics, let us know and we can point you in the direction of some good people.
So the message is clear – get out there and get exporting! “… competing in the global marketplace makes business sense.”
by +Neil Payne