Export for Growth

23rd June 2012

Caroline

Business Growth

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I am delighted to be speaking for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales (ICAEW) all over the UK for their Business Advice Week starting 25 June 2012.

As part of this exciting week of presentations on The “Key Levers to Accelerate Business Growth” here is the first in a series of blog posts which also appear on http://www.businessadviceservice.com/

Here are some things that we do know:

– The UK economy is in need of a boost but is struggling to find it

– Macro economic fortunes follow cycles

– Whilst some countries are experiencing challenging trading conditions, others have more buoyant conditions

– The UK Government and UKTI are putting a lot of energy behind encouraging UK businesses to export

We are being told that exporting our products and services presents not only the opportunity to increase our revenues and put our businesses back into growth, it could hold the key to kick starting the British economy. This is a strategy that is bearing fruit for Jaguar Landrover who posted a 36.9% growth in revenues during their 2011/12 financial year. It now exports 80% of its production, with China alone showing a 76% growth in units sold in the period. Exporting our products and services can clearly make a material difference to business performance.

You may be sold on the concept but what about the practicalities? For some, the prospect of trading with another country is a scary one. All sorts of obstacles can come to mind: how do I ensure we get paid? how do I find customers? What about the language and cultural differences? What about legislation in different countries?

Here are some pointers to overcome any inertia you may have:

Where export to first?

There are different countries around the world that are actively looking to import British goods and services. For example, the UAE is actively looking to buy pharmaceutical equipment and drugs from the UK. I was talking to a client in the Middle East last month and he said there is a perception that ‘West is Best’ and they want to buy high quality Western European products and talent.

Do your research. Which countries are actively looking to import which goods and services from the UK? Where is the fit with your expertise?

Who can help you?

The UKTI and UK Export Finance are actively looking to help British businesses export. Check out their website http://www.ukti.gov.uk/export/exporting/startingexporting.html . Attend one of their local events, meet a local UKTI advisor.

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