More than a third of SMEs declining to look overseas

More than a third of UK small businesses have no interest in overseas expansion despite the positive effects that such a move could have on them.


That is according to research from KPMG and YouGov which shows that 36% of SMEs were not prepared to venture out into territory that is foreign to them.


Complex legal regimes, a lack of strong enough networks, and a deficiency of tax incentives were found to be the main barriers that prevent companies from taking advantage of opportunities.


Overseas markets are full of existing opportunities for small businesses but entering them is not without risk.


However, for any companies looking to drive growth forwards, expansion overseas is often the next logical step.


Around one in five medium sized businesses said they had no interest in expanding overseas although many of these businesses do not export to the EU anyway.


According to the Confederation of British Industry, businesses are 11% more likely to survive if they export.


One reason for exporting overseas is to meet the demand for British goods and services that exists – especially among items related to ‘Brand Britain’.


The domestic market in the UK is also improving on a daily basis which is leading many firms to focus on the areas closer to home where they can see immediate success.


This can be a risky strategy though, especially among small businesses with limited finances, as the companies concerned could be missing out on many sales opportunities.


In some cases, failing to take these sales could be having a detrimental effect on the company and it is in these situations that help from insolvency practitioners should be sought.


This can provide an in-depth study of how a business is run while identifying any key areas where spending is causing issues.


UK Trade and Investment is already working on ways that small business can take advantage of international markets.


In order to achieve government targets of reaching £1 trillion worth of exports a year by 2020, the nation’s army of SMEs will certainly need to play a part.


By Phil Smith


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