It’s not always easy to know when your business is ready to go international so here are a few things to consider first.
A good starting point is to assess your UK success rate. If your business has a good track record and is showing signs of increased UK sales and growth and you’ve built up good customer relations, then the likelihood is you are ready to go global or at least start looking into the idea.
If you’ve already received enquiries from outside of the UK, this is also a strong indicator that demand exists for your products or services on an international scale.
Not all businesses will attract interest from international customers straight away, so if you haven’t yet had any overseas enquiries about your products and services, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you’re not ready to start exporting but, what is important, is that you do your research. A good place to start with this is to see what your UK competitors are already doing and where they are exporting to.
It might be that they already have some locations covered, so you may want to establish your new markets somewhere different.
Given the current pandemic and contractions in the global economy it would also be wise to have an eye on the markets that are recovering faster so that when you’re ready to start exporting, you know which ones to target first.
Finance and resources
Another important consideration before committing to an exporting plan, is to assess whether your business has both the financial capabilities for market development and whether it has the physical resources to cope with any extra product demand and increased sales which may result.
Opening up new markets could, suddenly, result in lots of new and possibly big orders. Make sure your business has the capacity to employ extra staff if the operational need arises.
In the current climate this may prove to be one of the biggest obstacles for many businesses. If you have had to furlough staff or make people redundant, balancing orders with resources may be more difficult.
Having some knowledge of standard trading practices in the country/countries you want to export to can help mitigate against some of the risks of exporting.
Making sure you have some protection against late payments and export invoices is critical. It’s also important to remember that fluctuating exchange rates can impact on your business profit margins and multi-currency bank accounts can help you manage these finances a little better. Researching and gaining an understanding of how the pandemic has affected individual countries and their local economy would also be prudent at this time.
Working with a freight forwarder
If after all the groundwork you make the decision to take your business international, working with a trusted freight forwarder like ourselves can simplify and streamline the process.
Our knowledge of international markets means we can advise you on the best methods of shipment for your goods, help you navigate customs procedures and other regulations and in many ways become an extension of your business.
We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses over the last 25 years helping them to achieve their export goals and we can provide free, expert advice to help you and your business get exporting in 2021.
Get in touch by either emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01952 270 699 for more information.