Export Britain

Research: the key consideration for companies looking to export

Two-thirds of companies are too fearful to explore trading overseas, a study has found


Santander recently conducted a study of would-be exporters, Growth Britain: Unlocking The Potential Of Our SMEs and found that two-thirds of companies were too fearful to explore trading overseas. The first thing to do to diminish that fear factor is to conduct your own research and find out whether there is demand for your goods or services overseas. Companies that confine themselves to their domestic markets are four times more likely to go into bankruptcy than companies that trade internationally, according to our report. Diversification via exporting is therefore an excellent defensive strategy in challenging economic times. Our research also clearly shows that once companies begin to export, they become much more optimistic about their future growth prospects.

Santander’s Trade Portal can help with overseas expansion by taking them through where to trade, with who, how to connect with suppliers, importers, and how to establish themselves overseas.The Trade Portal shows users the top 20 international markets for their product, which means you can quickly gain a sense of where you will find demand. It also shows the fastest growing markets for that product, and illustrates how well other UK companies are performing there. The Portal gives contact details of the biggest importers or suppliers for a given product in key markets, giving the user an invaluable means of making contact with potential customers or suppliers.Users can access information about Santander trade missions, as well as industry forums, regional trade shows and open public and private tenders.

The Trade Portal also provides an export calculator, which helps users assess the costs of exporting to each specific market. This includes export tariffs and tax charges, which can differ widely between various markets. Once a business has been trading overseas successfully for a few years, it will often look at establishing a local presence in that market. Here the Santander Trade Portal can provide all the legal and regulatory information required. Similarly, Santander’s International Desk team are stationed in 12 major markets from Brazil to the UK, and are there to provide the dedicated attention, skills and local knowledge for expanding UK companies, enabling them to take the difficult step of growing their businesses internationally with confidence and support.

Exporters can do a lot to maximise success

Exporters should gain as much insight as possible into the business culture of their target market. There is a great deal that can be learned ahead of an exploratory visit about the accepted ways of working and the key cultural differences between the UK and overseas markets. Contact organisations like UK Trade & Investment, and the British Chambers of Commerce for specific advice. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) offers a variety of professional qualifications that could equip you and your employees with invaluable international business knowledge.Banks have many ways of protecting companies from delayed or non-payment, and from their currency exposure. Santander UK’s own solutions in this area include International Payments and Receipts, Supplier Payments and Trade Finance.

Source: The Guardian

Read the full article here.

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