14 May 2013

Is exporting right for your business?

This week a series of high profile events are being held across the UK to encourage more small businesses to export.

At the moment just one in five British companies export, but Export Week, which runs until Friday, is part of a drive to increase this to at least one in four and generate an extra £36 billion for the UK economy. Events and seminars have been organised to give firms advice on how to do business abroad, particularly emerging markets like China and India, which are growing quickly.

So what should you do if you want to start exporting

  1. Get advice. Do your homework and find out about the market you want to sell to, and get as much advice and support as you can. UK Trade & Investment offers a range of support for exporters, including helping companies looking to export for the first time
  2. Choose your partners carefully. If you’re going to work with another business as a distributor in your target market, make sure you pick them wisely as they will be representing you and it is your company’s reputation at stake.
  3. Register a website in your target country. Don’t just rely on your UK website if you are exporting to another country, make sure you establish a web presence in your target market. For example, if you want to break into the Chinese market, your website needs to be registered in China with an ICP licence and hosted within the Chinese government’s firewall.
  4. Protect your intellectual property. Take legal advice to make sure any patents you have are valid in the country you want to export in to guard yourself against any cheap copies of your products.
  5. Consider taking on native staff. Employing people based in the country you want to export to will make the process easier and you will be able to use their local knowledge to understand your potential customers better.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Companies of all sizes are increasingly winning business abroad proving that exporting is not just for the large firms. Research conclusively shows businesses that export become more innovative, more productive and achieve a level of growth that would not otherwise be possible. Our future prosperity rests on UK companies doing business abroad. I hope that Export Week will encourage companies not already doing so to think about trading abroad.”

Growing your business

The Government is aiming to get 100,000 more British SMEs exporting over the next five years. Exporting is a good way of expanding your business as it opens up what you do to a much larger number of customers. This business growth could lead to you needing more space for your company or simply storage facilities to keep extra materials and stock safe, dry and secure.

If you do find yourself needing more room for your expanding business or a base in a new location, Bizspace has a wide range of flexible and affordable business accommodation across the UK.