Start Exporting and Go Global with your Business

Fewer than 30% of smaller companies in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are exporting. Obstacles include HR constraints, lack of information about international markets, cumbersome administrative processes, limited access to investment capital and difficulties in finding business partners abroad.

To start trading internationally, you need ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is my company ready to export? Which products/services?
  2. Which markets are viable?
  3. Which one should I focus on?
  4. How should I enter this market?
  5. What is my marketing programme?
  6. How do I deliver abroad and mitigate risks for my business?

Exporting is not a way to save your business. If your product or service has not taken off in your domestic market, then you’ll be unable to launch it successfully abroad. However, if you have done your strategic partner research, market assessment and due diligence, going global could be the next stage in growing your company.

You will need to carefully calculate export pricing, as you will now be dealing with additional costs like import duties, and you should keep up to date with Incoterms, or international commercial terms. These are the trade terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that are commonly used to ease domestic and international trade by helping traders to understand one another.

Political, economic, socio-cultural forces and market size and trends can all impact export success, sometimes overnight in the case of political instability or unforeseen circumstances like transport failings.

However, there is extensive support and advice available for new and existing exporters from a wide range of sources, including The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Enterprise Europe Network, the Department for International Trade, as well as the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub.

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