Businesses which have made inroads into international markets have been reaping the rewards according to the latest international trade study, published this week by the British Chamber of Commerce. The survey shows that that 59 per cent of those businesses which are currently involved in the export market has enjoyed a growth in sales during 2014, despite the relatively widespread stagnation in the Eurozone and the fact that Sterling appreciated over the same period.
With the news that one-third of exporting companies that do export have had to expand their operations to meet demand, things are looking up for exporters, especially in light of the news that only 3 per cent had to reduce their capacity. However, despite the promising figures and potential benefits to UK businesses, there is still some degree of reticence amongst those who have never tried expanding their operations into the international markets.
Nearly two-thirds of those who responded to the survey have been in the market for more than a decade, with just 6 per cent comprising relative newcomers who have only been in the export business for two years or less. Companies which had reservations about the idea of branching out into the export market cited a lack of funding and support when it came to gaining access to overseas partners and markets. They stated that they would be more enthusiastic about broadening their horizons and seeking out international opportunities if they felt that there was adequate backing for such ventures.
The BCC’s Director General, John Longworth, believes that efforts are needed to ensure that UK firms considering exporting their goods or services are able to do so, in order to strengthen the economy at a time when it is needed most. With 89 per cent of businesses expressing their ambitions to increase their domestic activity, the fact that only 44 per cent are intending to grow internationally demonstrates a reticence to take a leap into the unknown. 77 per cent of these cited the difficulties of finding customers, distributors and agents as reasons for their reluctance.
The BCC believes that there needs to be a partnership between the government and business to facilitate international trade by increasing funding and improving the access to the market for those who may be concerned about perceived barriers to international success.
As yet, none of the major parties has made any particular promises about their commitment to the challenges facing would-be exporters, but the Prime Minister did set out some ambitious growth targets which are set to be met by 2020. This means that it is reasonable to assume that it will feature in some of the post-election plans for whichever party or parties come into power.
If you’re considering taking the plunge into international business, but want some sound advice from someone who understands your position, then speaking to a specialist freelance accountant will help you understand the best way to ensure your success. For more information, you can speak to one of our friendly team on 01253 362062 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.