Small businesses missing out on international sales

09 Sep 2016

60 per cent of UK small businesses are potentially missing out on millions of pounds in lost revenue by not exporting abroad, potentially missing out on millions of pounds in lost revenue according to new research from Royal Mail.

The report lists the perceived cost and complexity of getting through customs (26 per cent), a lack of knowledge of the market (21 per cent) and language barriers (21 per cent) as the key reason for businesses not looking to export, that's despite that many international orders from outside the EU fall below the minimum threshold for which customs duties are chargeable, making those markets more accessible.

The study of 300 senior decision makers and small business owners shows that those who are not selling overseas are missing out. Amongst the 40 per cent of business who sell internationally, just over a quarter of their sales this Christmas are expected to come from international orders. 35 per cent of small businesses believe Europe holds the most potential to generate new sales for their business, and 28 per cent believe the USA and North America hold the most potential.

The report provides tips for businesses wanting to sell internationally:

  1. Research the market: be committed as a lot of businesses end up being incidental exporters
  2. Consider online marketplaces
  3. Research the delivery preferences of online shoppers in the market you plan to sell in
  4. Consider using international tracking and signature services when shipping your products: this gives customers confidence to shop with you
  5. Give it a go: it’s easier than you think and the rewards can be huge.

The UK also offers numerous opportunities for a business willing to expand internationally. It is however crucial to keep in mind that the legal, financial and taxation environments are sometimes very different. Whether setting up a structure, acquiring a company or setting up a joint venture, our specialists at Beavis Morgan can efficiently assist you and will prove a key element of the success of your project.

For more information about how we can help you and your business, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.