Is your business positioned for international markets? If not, why not? You might be waiting until the opportunity to ‘grow global’ presents itself – but often you have to force the matter.
“It takes confidence, ambition, knowledge and energy to position a business for international markets, yet the daunting task can often give way to significant rewards, and there is significant hidden potential for a more developed export market in the UK,” says Charlotte Keenan, head of the office of corporate engagement EMEA, Goldman Sachs, in a piece in the Telegraph.
“By being strategic, seeking out information and securing finance, UK small businesses do not have to wait to ‘grow global’.”
For quite a few business owners, though, this might require a change of mindset. Only one in five UK small businesses are currently exporting, according to findings by the Confederation of British Industry.
Keenan and her team at Goldman recently conducted a survey of what it would take to enjoy success in international markets. The findings revealed three behaviours in particular: being strategic, seeking out information and securing finance.
Keenan believes that equipping owners with new tools and strategies for managing their business can prompt a change of mindset, opening up the prospect of exporting.
At the end of the day, not every business is going to be suited to international markets. However, exporting can project a business forward when it might be in danger of plateauing or stagnating.
That was the case for Tajinder Banwait, whose luxury home fragrances and scented candles business Urban Apothecary London had enjoyed year-on-year growth and profitability before it reached a “crossroad”.
Having been given the tools and help to develop a five-year business growth plan, she managed to drive her company onwards, which included opening up new distribution opportunities, both in the UK and overseas.
But, how do you go about solving the funding issue? Keenan suggests it’s about showing owners what options are available to them, such as crowdfunding and bringing in new shareholders.
“These options allow a business to embrace exporting earlier and more extensively than by only using their own reserves,” she says.
To find out this sort of information, owners should build strong networks and forge good relationships with fellow business owners and those individuals who have ‘been there, done it’, Keenan adds.
Reaching out to experienced groups and individuals could be the best decision you ever make for your business.