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Have you considered trading internationally?

As your business grows you may decide to start exploring international markets. Many businesses across the D2N2 area provide products and services all over the world. There are opportunities both in traditional, established markets such as Europe and the US, and the high-growth economies of countries such as China, India and Brazil.

Businesses can access support from the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) as well as a number of local agencies such as Enterprise Europe Network East Midlands, HMRC and the EM Chamber International Trade Team.

It’s important to note that exporting is not just for bigger businesses. A recent study found that the proportion of small UK firms exporting increased by 10 per cent in both manufacturing and services over a six year period.

There are a lot of benefits for exporting products and services as part of your growth plan, here are three that you should take into consideration if you want to grow your business through this route:

  • You will be able to achieve levels of growth not possible domestically.
  • You can increase the commercial lifespan of your products and services.
  • You can increase the resilience of revenues and profits.

So if you are serious about looking at international markets to grow your business, the first step would be to contact UKTI, they have advisors that can offer a wide range of support to help you from planning through to delivery.

During the planning stage you need to honestly assess your export potential to make sure that you can take this step forward. The UKTI team can help you through this process. Here are seven different stages of information gathering that you should consider.

1. Assess your export capabilities

There are a number of tools you can use to assess your export capabilities and the issues and practicalities you need to think about before you start to export.

2. Carry out market research

Detailed research into a number of areas will help you assess how successful you can be. For example look at industry structure, demand, competition and any modifications you may need to make to your product or service for export.

3. Make an export plan

This looks at how you will enter the new market, this includes route to market, business model abroad and financial implications.

4. Assess your product/service

You should assess whether your product or service is suitable for the export market. If you need to adapt the products or services in any way you need to be realistic about the financial implications.

5. Understand the law

You need to have a good understanding of your legal responsibilities when trading internationally. This is where UKTI and HMRC can really help you.

6. Selling and distribution

You need to consider how you will sell your product or service. In some cases you may be able to sell directly to the consumer via the Internet or other channels. Many businesses seek international partners or distributors to work with. You need to assess what is best for you.

7. Marketing

Finally you need to be very clear about your marketing strategy. This may need to be adapted to suit every country that you target.

Knowledge is one of the most important factors of success for businesses that trade internationally. As well as gathering information that impact directly on your product or service you also need to consider other factors which can have a direct bearing on whether you can achieve success. One of these is how you engage effectively with buyers and consumers in another country. You need to gather information about the local culture, this may include understanding the religion, beliefs, historical and political factors. The more you understand your target market they more likely you are to engage with them effectively.

If you would like some advice on how to start the planning process for trading internationally then please do give one of the D2N2 Growth Advisors a ring on 0333 006 9178, visit the website
www.d2n2growthhub.co.uk/international-markets. or click here to see some case studies.


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