Are conditions right for small companies to branch out?
Business expansion within national borders can be difficult in itself, but making a decision to enter into export markets can be even tougher.
The UK has a trade deficit – meaning more is being imported than exported – and this is placing a certain level of pressure on companies to enter foreign markets.
Some regions of the UK do this more successfully than others, with the East of England a particular hotspot for exporting goods.
This positive contribution is highlighted in the Great British Export Report from FedEx Express, which showcases the efforts firms are making to boost foreign trade.
Currently, the overall deficit for the UK stands at around £2.8 billion, although many small businesses are helping to slowly chip away at that total.
SMEs in the East of England beat the national average for exports at 53.7%, exporting £7,330 more to Europe than they import each month.
Nearly a quarter of these companies export food and drink goods, which is a considerably higher figure than elsewhere in the UK.
Exports to Europe have risen quickly in the past 12 months, while English-speaking and European countries remain the most popular destinations for doing business.
The potential for growth among these firms is reportedly high too, as many believe they will either be generating a “little higher” or “much higher” revenue from exports.
These firms still need to proceed with caution however as exporting can be an expensive undertaking, especially if entering a market for the first time.
Plenty of research and additional checks should occur to ensure a smooth transition into the marketplace.
Firms that fail to plan could face financial issues if something goes wrong and could be forced into a restructuring or alternative financial plan in order to keep trading.
While acting quickly should limit any negative impacts, businesses still need to guard against complacency.
Taking the time to check new markets and to assess the potential of products in certain locations should increase the likelihood of success.
While the current economic situation is a positive one for firms, they can ill-afford to take unnecessary risks in their quests for more business.
By Phil Smith