Raising export levels to boost business security

More than £15bn in additional export revenue is set to be raised by UK businesses in the next 12 months, boosting their financial security in the process.


A third of small businesses questioned by Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks shows signs of having optimistic export plans, driven by a strong pound and improving economy.


Generating income from exports can aid smaller companies significantly, as they can then look to pour money into other aspects of business such as branding and advertising.


The importance of exporting is shown by the fact that export sales accounted for 21% of business turnover for the 39% of companies who traded overseas.


Forecasts for the next 12 months suggest that overseas sales will grow to represent 24% of revenues, equivalent to an additional £15bn in sales.


Those that did not export cited risks and too much ‘red tape’ as the major barriers to it, as those with tight finances did not want to risk the threat of insolvency or company administration.


Improving export levels provides a solid financial footing for businesses and provides additional funding that can be set aside to deal with any potential emergencies.


Manufacturing businesses were highly optimistic about their prospects for the coming year, with two thirds expecting to start, or increase overseas sales.


Nearly 50% of media and IT-based companies are also looking abroad for opportunities and expect increased sales by doing so.


Businesses in London and North East England are most likely to start or increase exporting in the coming 12 months.


In 2013, UK export sales totalled £501bn, although Chancellor George Osborne is keen to raise this figure to £1 trillion by 2020.


Paul Shephard, director for business and private banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said the results of the survey represented an improved level of confidence in the marketplace.


“Using improving domestic conditions as a springboard, more businesses will look to develop new products and create jobs in a bid to make a bigger global impact,” he said.


By Phil Smith


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