Do you know where your business growth will come from in 2016?
Will solid UK sales give you the confidence to step up to exporting? Or, do you believe that for the level of growth planned, identifying overseas customers will be a matter of necessity?
Business owners are often keen to expand overseas but are sometimes overwhelmed by the idea because they aren’t sure which country they should target or which is best suited to their products or services.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)’s advice is not to let this be a barrier; there are methods to help you identify the best market or markets for your business and to help you turn any pipe dream into a real, workable business strategy.
Few businesses have time or resources for proper market research, but the good news is that there is a lot of help and support available to help any company – even the smallest micro-business – that wants to explore overseas opportunities. Here are a few examples of the types of things to consider before selecting a target market:
Ease of trade
This might mean a country that is culturally similar, such as Canada and Ireland, an English-speaking country, or somewhere where English is widely spoken, such as the Scandinavian states and The Netherlands.
Australia and New Zealand sound like an attractive proposition for many, but do they really fit the bill? While they tick the culturally familiar and English-speaking boxes, the time differences could prove to be a real sticking point, particularly if it requires your business to offer round-the-clock assistance or a helpline.
It’s also important to consider your competition – is there anyone in a similar line of business already trading in the countries in which you are interested? If so, it’s vital that you clearly differentiate in your marketing promotion to make your business stand out – what is your unique selling point?
If you as a business owner have identified a specific country that you would like to trade with, can you be sure that there is a match between potential customers and your company? Does it have the right social and cultural demographic, a population with the appropriate disposable income for your price point, and a demand for your offer?
It’s these kinds of questions that UKTI ask businesses every day. UKTI works with thousands of companies every year, all of whom are at different stages of their exporting experience.
For new exporters, UKTI can be your market research department, undertaking a whole stack of research that will help you to decide which markets are best for your goods or services. The results can sometimes surprise business owners because UKTI’s data processing and number crunching can reveal a market that had not even been on the radar.
UKTI provides expert international trade advice and practical support to UK-based companies that want to grow their business overseas.
One business that has already benefitted from exporting with UKTI is Worcester-based PCA Predict and their exporting case study can be viewed here.
Visit international markets and grow your sales
A key factor in achieving international success is being prepared to visit your target markets. Building contacts, finding leads and identifying future opportunities for doing business are just a few of the advantages of exploring global markets. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) hosts market visits to countries around the world, led by experienced international trade advisers with the tools to boost your business growth.
Germany (23-25 February 2016) – join this exploratory visit for advanced engineering companies, coinciding with the METAV Exhibition and designed to build contacts and provide an understanding of the market.
Japan (29 February-3 March 2016) – companies from all sectors are invited to meet Japanese companies 1:1, join a networking reception, find opportunities and experience Japanese business culture.
USA (14-18 March 2016) – creative companies can get a unique introduction to the US and global gaming industry at the San Francisco Games Developers Conference and network with key industry figures.
To find out more about any of the market visits go online: www.exportwm.co.uk/marketvisits/ or to discover how your company could benefit from support to sell overseas contact UKTI West Midlands: E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0345 222 0159.
(Press Release from UKTI)