Are younger firms more suited to exporting?

Small businesses that were set up at the height of the recession are more likely to start exporting in their first year than older businesses, Barclays has claimed.


Their report found that 66% of the ‘recession generation’ started exporting within the first 12 months of being set up, showing little apparent fear of failure.


Meanwhile, only 34% of SMEs that started life before 2007 started exporting in their first year – showcasing how the business demographic has changed in the last decade.


Firms are now looking to seize their opportunities at an earlier stage, with 43% of companies seeing growth potential as a key reason to export.


Increased demand from overseas also boosts many small businesses – demand for the period between 2007 and 2014 was 7% higher than for SMEs who set up between 1997 and 2006.


A declining UK economy during the height of the recession also led small firms to look overseas in search of further opportunities. A quarter of small firms revealed they reached their UK growth ceiling within the first year and had to look overseas as a result.


Some 42% of older SMEs also stated they wish they had started exporting sooner and added that a lack of early ambition may have held them back.


Choosing to export carries many potential growth benefits and changing economic conditions could be the driving factor behind recent trends.


It may not necessarily be that firms are more suited to exporting, merely that conditions exist that make it a lot easier for them to do so than in the past.


However, entering foreign markets is not without risk and plenty of consideration should be given to all aspects of the exporting procedure.


Should a part of business not go to plan, seeking advice from an insolvency practitioner would be recommended to limit any negative financial implications.


Such a move can help to protect company assets and ensure that a measured or cautious approach is taken where necessary.


By Phil Smith


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