Go from zero to exporting hero
In my experience of exporting, it has become clear that, for those who are tempted to look overseas for their sales, the rewards can be huge. As a new International Trade Adviser (ITA) for UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), it is my role to ensure that those British firms who do choose to export can access the wealth of demand that is out there. And with demand for British goods as high as it is, the time has never been better to broaden your horizons and take your business to the world.
I've been involved with international export management for over 15 years, working for a range of manufacturing and service companies. During that time I was responsible for overseeing the growth of export sales whether through agents and distributors or B2B and was exposed to the trials and tribulations of the global marketplace.
Though times were often challenging, the returns on time and resources spent pursuing international business were always well worth the effort. My time as an export manager took me from establishing distributors across Europe and North Africa to dealing with manufacturing and service companies in Scandinavia, Sub-Saharan Africa, The Americas and the Middle East.
My experiences have given me an extensive background in international sales and a significant understanding of the cultural and communication challenges of doing business in overseas markets. If I can use that experience to help other companies then they will be in a much stronger position to succeed in international markets.
It's very clear that the UK has a great deal to offer. There is robust global interest in British designed and produced goods and services, from British engineering in India to British ice-cream in Hong Kong. 'Made in Britain' has genuine value and appeal and the reputation of British quality and reliability is second to none. Examples of demand for British goods are countless. UK exports to Brazil have grown by 20% over the last four years, reaching £2.5 billion in 2013. Likewise, trade to the United Arab Emirates has soared by 13% over the last 12 months to a staggering £5.8 billion.
Add to this the growing popularity of trading online or 'e-Commerce', which is expected to grow by a further 20% over the next five years, and you soon start to see a picture of increasing demand in a marketplace which is becoming increasingly attractive and accessible to even the smallest of British companies. As far as I am concerned almost all markets offer opportunities for British businesses. The challenge is to identify the right market and demand for your company by doing your research and, of course, getting in touch with UK Trade & Investment to find out how we can help. That's where Trade Advisers like me come in. Whether you're just starting out or are already an established exporter, UKTI can help you meet your potential in the global marketplace.
As UKTI International Trade Advisers, it is our job to apply our experiences in international trade to provide expertise, advice and support to businesses looking to expand their operations overseas. We have locally based advisers in your area to introduce you to new markets, help you with market research, enable you to reduce your risks and build a bespoke export plan suited to your business.
The huge numbers of events we hold every year are a great place to start and to learn more about what we offer, such as Explore Export in November which will give companies access to over sixty market experts from British Consulates, Embassies and High Commissions across the world.
Throughout the year, UKTI offers a huge range of events designed to get your firm trading in the international marketplace, as well as export-boosting programmes such as the 'Passport to Export' scheme - which can get your company on the road to trading abroad. This is on top of regular trade missions across the globe, covering a wide range of sectors.
The schemes and events we offer can provide companies with a robust export plan. We can help to research markets, put you in touch with local Embassies and in-market experts, work locally to find business leads and give advice and tips on local business culture and etiquette.
I urge all companies who are considering going international to find out more about the support available from UKTI. Working with our specialist advisers you could be one of 100,000 new exporters UKTI aims to create in the next five years.
The first step is clear: pick up the phone and call UKTI on 08452 789 600 or email us via email@example.com to speak to one of our excellent trade advisers and begin your exciting journey towards international success.
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