SME exports benefit from popularity of brand Britain
High sales of British goods overseas are providing much needed respite for the UK’s small businesses, according to new research.
Consumers in Europe and further afield are more likely to purchase the British brand than one year ago, the eBay for Business Index has revealed.
This has led to many small businesses increasing their exports in a bid to meet demand, with positive perceptions over quality and customer service widespread.
A quarter of small businesses told eBay they have noticed a rise in those buying British goods and services, providing a welcome boost given the uncertainty that followed last year’s EU referendum.
Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that more than £550 billion of goods and services were exported from Britain in 2016.
Around one in ten firms have also expressed an interest in expanding into new markets in the coming year.
More than 200,000 small firms use eBay for trading and 93% said they export overseas to an average of 20 countries.
The United States of America and Australia top the list of export markets, followed by the key European markets of Germany, France and Italy.
A major benefactor of the rise in exports has been the manufacturing sector, with EEF reporting that nearly two thirds of firms noted an improvement in market conditions.
Despite the positive outlook, the study also found that a third of SMEs believe that an increasing level of protectionist policies in the UK could harm British exports.
Not being able to export goods could have a huge impact on many small businesses, especially those that are reliant on overseas markets for growth.
Ultimately a lack of trade will impact on cash flow and will limit further investment, both factors which can stunt long term growth.
Refinancing options can help to quell such issues as professional help should be able to identify areas of a business where debts could be better managed, processes streamlined and finances used more effectively.
One way to highlight such opportunities is to undertake an options review – not only can this highlight potential areas of risk but it’s also possible to advise on the best plan moving forwards.
By Phil Smith