Exploiting Overseas Market: a Beginners Guide
Why trade internationally?
With more companies looking at growth overseas this is the key question to ask at the outset. Typically, the answer will probably be to either, increase revenues and profitability, and/or to improve utilisation of resources.
However, there are other more specific reasons why it makes sense to develop your business overseas, including:
• Your domestic market may not provide you with the opportunity for growth that your company needs
• You may be looking for the increased security your company can achieve by spreading its risks over a variety of markets
• You may want to ensure that you stay competitive by winning and retaining market share over other overseas competitors.
One major benefit of trading internationally is that it provides scope to develop your company’s strengths and abilities. Selling in an international environment will sharpen your innovative edge and open up opportunities that might never come your way if you limit yourself to the home market. Of course, for some companies these opportunities fall on them by chance; perhaps a chance contact or a reference by a third party or affiliated company. It could also be because a major customer of yours moves into a new overseas market and you follow.
Another reason to look at overseas markets is if political environments change such as trade barriers are removed or new legislation makes your product or service a necessity. Exchange rates could be a driver to start exporting. Currently, the competitive exchange rate of the pound is beneficial for UK exporters.
Some facts and figures
Recent research found that:
• 59% of companies found that overseas business led to fresh ideas and innovation, upgrading their products and services.
• 44% of firms reported a link between exporting and increased turnover in 2011.
• 44% of firms said exporting significantly improved their profile or credibility.
How do I develop my international business?
Pat Smith Partnership Manager: “The first step, if you are in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk is to talk to UKTI East by calling 0845 641 9955. Elsewhere you may call this number and be directed to your regional UKTI office. They will arrange for an International Trade Adviser to contact you and meet up to discuss the opportunities and how best to start.
Typically, they will help you:
• Assess your company’s readiness to export in terms of your capabilities, resources and commitment
• Evaluate the market opportunities and help identify customers and distribution channels
• Work with you to develop an export strategy and then help you to implement the strategy.
Some of the first questions that need to be answered include:
• Do I have the capacity to export?
• What is my USP (Unique Selling Point) and does it work in overseas markets?
• Is there a market for my services? If there is, what is the size of the market, who are my competitors and how to I access the market?
• Am I price competitive?
• Do I need overseas representation and what form should it take?
• What are my liabilities post sale, are there legal constraints, how do I deal in a foreign currency?
• Do I have the trained staff; do I understand the cultural implications of selling to overseas customer?
Your International Trade Adviser will be able to help answer all of these and other questions.”
What other support is available?
Your International Trade Adviser can tell you about a wide range of UKTI provided services, grants and support available. These include:
• Passport to Export – Through our Passport to Export programme we offer new and inexperienced exporters capability assessments, support in visiting potential markets, mentoring from a local International Trade Adviser, action plans, customised and subsidised training, and ongoing support once you’re up and running. The programme puts together in one simple responsive process all the tools that exporting companies need to grow their business.
• Gateway to Global Growth – helps existing exporters with expert help and strategic advice to review and maximise their international strategy, explore new markets and achieve your international ambitions.
• Overseas Market Introduction Service (or OMIS) – helps you explore new overseas markets with the help of British Embassy Commercial staff around the world. Tap into the local knowledge of industry and country experts to help explore the market, establish contacts with potential customers/agents and even host meetings and events at embassies or consulates.
• Export Marketing Research Scheme – helps British companies research overseas markets prior to entry. Receive grants for up to 50% of your market research costs
• Export Communications Review – helps review your marketing and other communications to ensure it fits with the intended overseas country taking into account different languages, cultures and regulations.
For further information: Call 08456 419 955 or Visit www.ukti.gov.uk .