Great Britain is at the forefront of development, having a sound advanced engineering base and being able to demonstrate and deliver innovation on a large number of fronts.
So how do you get your company involved in the exciting world of global markets?
Well, firstly you might want to consider a mind-set change – don’t view exporting as a different business – we now operate in one huge global marketplace and the communication links which are available to all of us makes working on a global basis significantly easier than before.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is good to see the various LEPs in Yorkshire and beyond working together to promote and assist local businesses with entering new markets. I would also say that businesses are extraordinarily willing to assist each other and collaboration is key to being successful. Look out for organisations such as International Trade Forum (formally SYITF), which is all about peer-to-peer learning with a view to supporting one another in export and international trade. On that note you might also think outside the box; one example I am aware of is a company that was importing from Russia which was able to work with the import distributor to take their products back to Russia.
The local chambers can also point you in the right direction and give lots of free advice. Chamber International provides international trade support on behalf of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Chosen by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership to deliver the “We are International” campaign, Chamber International plays a central role in driving export activity on behalf of 10 local authorities. Our Chesterfield clients should note that the DNCC has launched an Export Support Programme which aims specifically to assist businesses in exploiting export opportunities and increasing their confidence about doing business overseas.
Thirdly, consider your budgets and be prepared to invest – both time and money! No-one should pretend it is easy – you need to research, visit and invest in marketing and relationships within your chosen markets. Be clear about how much your company can afford to invest for which it might not get a quick return and be clear about that budget and about the financial risks the company is prepared to accept.
Although it might be hard work to establish your business within new market places the rewards often make it well worth the effort. Recent figures show export sales by Yorkshire companies to be up 16% in 2014 against a backdrop of fairly modest growth in the domestic marketplace. Not surprisingly, that growth was not coming from exports to the USA or to Europe, where sales were up only 6% and 8% respectively, but largely to new market places such as South America.