Ruth Dooley, Partner at Hazlewoods, looks at some top tips for those considering exporting.
Q. I have a successful business serving the home market-why should I consider exporting?
A. There is no doubt that for some companies exports are the path to greater success. Almost 60 per cent of UK entrepreneurs active abroad say it has led to growth levels for their businesses which would not have been possible otherwise.
Q. So what is my first step?
A. Give yourself the time and ensure you have adequate support within your business to prepare the necessary ground work. Rome was not built in a day and preparation is all important.
Q. How can I find out if there is an overseas market for my products or services?
A. Do your research thoroughly. There is a lot of information out there but start by contacting UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). They can give free expert help and on average the firms they support go on to win additional sales of £100, 000 within 18 months.
Q. What are the potential pitfalls to exporting?
A. Take care not to take your eye off the ball in the home market while preparing to export. You don’t want to lose the sales you have already built up in the UK.
Q. Where can I get more help and advice?
A. As well as UKTI there are many professional advisers such as lawyers and accountants who will have a knowledge and understanding of the international markets. The new Growth Hub in Gloucester will also be a good source of help.