All the knowledge, expertise, and experience of an in-house Export Department without the overhead
We are the Export Department, and our passion is international trade and optimising the success rate of UK SMEs selling their products and services abroad. From support, advice, and market research, through to product packaging adaptations, website localisation, regulation, and day to day export management, our very purpose is to empower UK SMEs to successfully grow their revenues and profits through overseas expansion.
Whichever way you voted in 2016, Brexit is a reality, and in many ways, represents an amazing opportunity, particularly for UK-based SMEs, of which less than 20% currently sell their products and services overseas. In fact, only 11% of all UK businesses currently export, although this figure increases slightly to 15.2% when considering the Non-Financial Economy (ONS, 2015).
There is significant demand for UK products and services beyond our domestic market. Brand “Made in Britain” has the perception of quality and can command up to a 7% price premium in emerging, high-growth economies like China, Indonesia, Ghana, Vietnam, and India. Brexit may well act as the catalyst for the UK government to start building stronger trade relations with the rest of the world, making it easier for UK SMEs to trade outside of the Eurozone and the US.
All this said, researching new markets and expanding internationally is human capital heavy and places considerable strain on a company’s resource, skills, and capacity. SMEs need expert advice and support to trade internationally, and this is exactly what The Export Department provides.
Andrea Collins, Managing Director, talks about The Export Department and how it can support UK small and medium-sized businesses
There is huge demand beyond our borders, let us get you exporting!
How can the Export Department help me and my business?
The Export Department offers a cost-effective alternative to an in-house Exporting function for either novice SME exporters or established exporters looking to break into new territories. We provide your company with all the knowledge, expertise, and experience of an in-house export department but with significantly more flexibility and at a fraction of the cost.
With more than 20 years international trade knowledge and experience, our approach can be “strategic”, “hands on and operational”, or a combination of the two. We have the ability and capacity to provide everything from strategic advice and mentoring through to a level of service that fundamentally enables you to outsource elements of or indeed all of your exporting activity and workload; we do this by providing dedicated exporting personnel to work within your team until such a point as exporting revenues justify hiring a dedicated member of staff.
We engage with you in whichever manner promises to deliver the greatest return to your business; that could be managing your entire new market launch from research through to market entry; or undertaking key activities to help bolster your resource and speed things along; or simply being there for you in a mentoring capacity to help facilitate a smooth and successful project.
Below is an overview of the export services we provide. For more information, visit our SERVICES page.
The benefits significantly outweigh the challenges!
Speed to market
Scalability and competitive advantage
Mitigation of risk
Capitalise on free advice and services
Reduced labour costs
Maintain focus on core business
Retain full control
Beyond the UK, Eurozone and US: Brand “Made in Britain” is perceived as “quality” and commands up to a 7% price premium in emerging, high-growth markets. Why delay?
The fall in the pound (15%) has given UK manufacturers a real competitive and profit advantage. Foreign buyers need less currency to buy our goods therefore exporters can choose to sell their products cheaper to gain a competitive edge and/or increase their margins to increase the profitability of their export operation. Exporters of quality, yet generally inexpensive goods and services which are more price sensitive than manufactured clothes or heavy goods products, will fare particularly well.
The uncertainty surrounding Brexit may have dissuaded some companies from progressing with their international trade plans, however this really shouldn’t be the case. There is considerable pressure to raise exports before the UK formally leaves the EU, this is a priority for the UK government, and we will see business incentives emerge over coming months that will help achieve this. Furthermore, there is increasing talk of the government introducing an Export Tax Credit. This would apply to both exported goods and services to help cover cost of exporting.
There are big opportunities beyond our borders, particularly in non-EU countries. The “Made in Britain” brand commands respect and achieves a price premium. Recent research conducted by Barclays Bank concluded that overseas customers are willing to pay up to 7% more for British goods, this is especially true in new and emerging markets where 64% stated they would be more inclined to purchase a product carrying the Union Flag. In addition to this, the UKTI publishes a new export opportunity every 37 minutes, and this is only set to increase as more UK companies enter the global stage.
EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS
Many companies are already testing the water, whilst others have been reaping the rewards for some time. A survey carried out by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) reported that: more than 75% of export-oriented businesses are profitable; 85% of businesses said that exporting helped them grow to a level not otherwise possible; 79% said conducting business abroad had helped them achieve fuller use of their existing capacity; and 66% said that trading overseas led them to fresh business ideas and innovation, upgrading their products and services.
Exporting represents significant opportunities for UK SMEs looking to expand, grow revenues and increase profitability, we’ve listed just a few below:
- REVENUE AND PROFIT GROWTH: Looking beyond the UK’s borders can help companies optimise sales and revenues; increased demand delivers economies of scale, lower unit costs, and higher profits that would be impossible to achieve in the domestic market alone;
- DIVERSIFICATION: Exporting enables companies to diversify their offering, the result is an increased resilience to economic shifts and a more sustainable business;
- REDUCED RISK AND LONGER PRODUCT LIFECYCLES: Spreading customers across several markets and regions helps to spread business risk. If UK demand for a product or service begins to plateau, businesses with a global presence are more protected and typically enjoy longer product lifecycles.
There are a number of challenges UK companies face when looking to trade beyond our borders. We’ve listed a few below:
- RESOURCE: Setting up an export operation is human capital heavy; pressures on capacity, production, and skill sets can be significant;
- MARKET DATA: Researching foreign markets is undoubtedly more challenging and resource intensive for a company than researching its own domestic market, particularly if it is looking to export to less developed countries where some data simply isn’t available;
- CULTURE: Understanding different cultures, ethical standards, negotiation styles, and ways of conducting business can seem very daunting to potential exporters;
- FINANCE: Trading internationally can involve upfront investment that can impact on a business’ cash flow. Furthermore, as it takes time to develop new markets, the return on this investment is not likely to be immediate.