Everyone who runs a business making things, or selling things, or providing services, needs to think about it. Why? Because exporting can help you grow profit, spread your risk and get ahead of the competition. In this article, the International Chamber of Commerce tells us why it’s so important for British businesses to get exporting…
Exporting can help you reach a bigger market
The market place is global. If you don’t try to reach consumers outside the UK you are limiting yourself to a tiny percentage of the available demand for your products.
If your product is a specialist or niche product or service, there may be even better prospects for it abroad than in the UK.
If your product is aimed at high end consumers, you might find it easier to tap into wealthy customers abroad than to increase your sales to less wealthy customers in the UK.
If your product is a B2B product aimed at a certain business sector, you might find the UK demand for it has peaked, but you can tap into new markets elsewhere.
Exporting can help you raise your gross margin
The same goods do not sell for the same price all over the world, or indeed all over Europe.
In some cases, the prices you can aim for in export markets might be higher than in the UK.
In other markets you might find a cheaper route to your target consumers, maybe by selling entirely online and thus avoiding retail margins. Currency exchange rates can also play a part.
Exporting can help you match and even beat your competition
Even if you’re not exporting, your competitors probably are. If some of your competitors are based abroad, they are probably already exporting or thinking of exporting into the UK. You’re going to have to face them in your own backyard sooner or later. Why not take the fight to them?
Exporting can help you spread your risk
In today’s unstable economic and financial climate, you cannot be sure when a downturn might hit your local market. But not all markets have been buffeted by economic turbulence in the same way, or at the same time. Indeed, the economies of India, China and Qatar are all expected to grow at more than 5% this year.
By selling into more than one country or region of the world you stand a good chance of spreading your risk. And you don’t need many markets abroad to enjoy the benefits. A couple of well chosen foreign markets can help.
Exporting can help you reduce overheads
There is a long established concept in economics of ‘economies of scale’. The key principle of economies of scale is this: the more you sell the lower your per unit overheads.
The same principle applies in your office. If you have someone who looks at marketing, they can probably take some time out of their normal day to look at a new overseas market without increasing your overhead costs.
Exporting can help you refine your product
It is a mistake to think that your product or service, once launched, need never change. All products change: they are refreshed, updated, improved. Change is all about responding to consumer needs.
The more markets you are in, the easier it will be for you to learn from a wide range of consumers, thus giving you an edge on your competition. Listening to a wide range of consumers can help keep you ahead of the curve.
Exporting is easier than you think
Exporting might lead you into becoming a truly global business…
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is a global business organisation, working to support international trade and investment through the promotion of open markets, sound regulation, and the rule of law. Members of ICC UK in the UK include a wide range of multinationals, business associations and SMEs. For more information please visit their website
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