We have been having a think about export opportunities, the questions you might be asking yourselves and how to help remove the barriers to entry into new markets.
We all know that our products become out of date in the UK increasingly quickly, but what is old in the UK may well be new elsewhere. I have been reading content on the UKTI site that are very general, full of caveats and warnings and frankly a bit short on solutions.
As ever what you need is access to business people who have actual experience of the process. This we now have.
Please feel free to contact me on email@example.com for more details.
Thinking about International Business – So What is Stopping You?
We have put together a list of questions that you may well be asking yourself about how you can move forward to developing an international arm of your business.
Q – Will developing an International arm to my business improve my turnover going forward?
The answer to this is very simple and it is yes, the UK market is very competitive in nearly every field, however many International markets do not have the same competition, and are often much easier as routes for growth.
We am not saying it is simple and quick, but if you put together a thought through approach to International business, it will help spread your risk , build better profits from better customers , as well as unlocking cash flow.
Q – If I own and run a franchise company and I am part of a group can I still trade overseas?
This question is not such a simple question to answer as it will depend on the owner of the franchising company, as some have outlets across the world. However you may well be able to negotiate a country which you can supply or work with.
Q – Will my products or services be accepted outside the UK?
Surprisingly most companies in the UK can trade overseas, and if you have a product or service and if you have something that is innovative and solves challenges you are off to a very good start. The other positive is if you already have a good track record in the UK as this will tick another box for you.
British products and services are generally very well accepted in overseas markets as the British have a reputation for quality innovation and value.
Q – How and will I get paid in a realistic timeframe, and will there be challenges with communication in obtaining payment?
These two issues I have put together as by far these are the two questions every business asks, so let’s clear these up.
Payment terms need to be addressed early in discussions when the initial order has been placed with you. Remember they are company just like you and work most times in similar ways, so treat them with the same respect as you would IF the same company was based here in the UK.
You must always carry out due diligence on the company and check they are credible, but the best way is on all initial orders payment in advance or 50% up front with the balance payable prior to shipment.
Concerns on language are to me over exaggerated and really are not as bad as many businesses seem to think. Remember that you potential business partner whatever language they speak want to work with you as much as you want to work with them. Yes in some countries you may need a translator, but I have found over my many years exporting the English is the most common business language in whatever country you visit.
Q – What country do I choose and how much will this cost?
Firstly if this is your first venture into International business, choose a country where you already know there is an opportunity, in other words look for the lower fruit on the International tree.
Remember there are many countries which dwarf us in size so be careful as too much business or sales can have the same effect has having to little, you are looking to grow your business gradually rather than letting customers down with late deliveries or poor service as either will lose you repeat business.
There are many ways in choosing the correct country to focus on and I am happy to discuss these through with you.
It is important that you have a clear understanding on the costs involved and when do you expect to see a ROI. There is really no point in pulling the wool over your eyes, the facts are min 12 months from start to finish, unless of course you strike it lucky, which has happened on a few occasions with me.
An overview of expected costs can be put together for you during the initial consultation
Q – How much time will it take out of my day?
Yes it will take up your time or the time of one of your team, and it most cases many companies although have great products and services do not have the resource to carry out the work involved.
In real terms you need to allow 16 hours a week in putting together a structured market research and approach to ensure you achieve your objective.
However that is if you actually know where to go and what you are doing.
We here at the chamber have the expertise and the skills you need to achieve your goals and turn those dreams of International business into reality.
Please contact us today for a free initial consultation so that we can give you a frank and honest answer on how we can grow your business going forward in the International arena.