Going Global? 4 Key Considerations

Date: 26/02/2019
Author: International Trade Team
Company: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

If your company is serious about trading internationally, whether it’s exporting, importing or investing, it is important to be as prepared as you can.

90% of purchasing power exists outside of the EU and, in a world more connected than ever, there’s no better time to think about how your business could go global.

To benefit from internationalisation, companies should consider the below:

  • Skills gaps

Trading internationally requires different skills than EU. Whether it’s team members that can speak languages or experts trained in documentation- it can often feel like businesses must hire an entirely new team.

Fortunately, there are many opportunities to train staff and there are always opportunities to outsource skills such as translation and export documentation. SMEs especially can benefit from working with others to gain the same amount of knowledge as larger international companies, enabling them to keep costs down when exploring international opportunities.

The Chamber runs several International Training courses a year to equip businesses with the knowledge they need to trade internationally.

  • Routes to market

Knowing you want to trade internationally is one thing, but knowing which market fits your product, or service, is can be a headache if you don’t know where to start. Without proper research and development, companies run the risk of entering unsuitable markets.

Taking time to understand the marketability of your product and ease of doing business in each foreign market will take time, but ultimately be worth the pay off.

Businesses that are time poor can make use of the Chamber’s Market Identification Service that aims to highlight key markets for individual products.   

  • Connections and networks

Once a company has decided on a market to enter, it can be hard to successfully sell or import without the right connections in the ground. Building solid business networks ensures businesses connect with reputable buyers and suppliers – this goes both ways, as members of a network are more likely to recommend UK businesses to their contacts that they know well.

Your local Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start, as they will often have existing links with international chambers who can then connect you with the right people. Greater Manchester Chamber is proud to be part of the Global Business Network which connects 53 regional Chambers and respective sister British Chambers across the world. 

  • Documentation

Trading outside of the UK and EU is less straightforward, tariff codes can change as can customs declaration forms. Export documentation is a technical minefield.

The good news is that there is help available for companies, freight forwarders often can complete some export documentation, but many documents need to be signed off by a Chamber of Commerce to be recognised as valid in certain countries.

Our Export Documentation team has a wealth of experience with completing documentation and assisting companies with everything from Letters of Credit to ATA Carnets.

 

Once you have considered each of the above and figured out how you will adapt each for the international market, there is no reason why your business can’t succeed internationally.

To find out more about any of the services listed in this article please contact exportbritain@gmchamber.co.uk