By Dominic Jermey, Guardian Professional
1. Exporting is only for large companies, I’m too small
No company is too small to export.UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) helps a range of companies - from those who employ a handful of people to large multinationals - to export successfully. Of the 48,000 companies we helped last year, 89% were small or medium-sized businesses, while one in five of these were completely new to exporting or had been exporting for less than a year.
2. I won’t get paid
There are many ways to guard against the risk of non-payment. Researching information about the norms of particular markets is a good start. There is a great amount of information available online where you can benefit from the experience of other companies in the market, while your local British Chamber of Commerce can also provide expert advice. Banks can advise on letters of credit and bonds that will help seal the deal. On those occasions when banks are unable to help, UK Export Finance has a range of products - including credit insurance - specifically tailored to small businesses.
3. You can only export if you’ve got a product to sell
Services are every bit as exportable as products. The UK’s creative industries are one of our big export successes with the our advertising industry alone generating £2bn of revenue each year. The UK’s professional services are equally in demand as countries throughout the world seek out our legal and financial expertise. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) can export by holding lessons over the internet. Companies from almost every part of the UK’s service sector can, and do, export.
4. It is too difficult to organise
There are many ways to export. It can be as simple as selling online. As well as websites we are familiar with such as Amazon or eBay, there are online marketplaces such as Tmall in China or MercadoLibre in Latin America. When companies take their first steps on their exporting journey they should consider working with one a local etailer. Firms can also export through finding a distributor in a market, which can ease some of the work involved and, once established, could consider a joint venture. Whichever route you choose, advice from UKTI, your local British Chamber of Commerce or banks can guide you on your export journey and advise you on the best routes to new markets.
5. There is already so much local competition that there won’t be enough demand for my services or products
The reverse is true. British companies and the British brand are liked and admired in markets throughout the world.>>>