Top six considerations for exporters

 

In the third of a series of blogs looking at the manufacturing sector, Moore and Smalley’s Ginni Cooper gives her top tips for boosting export growth.

 

British credentials still represent a significant competitive advantage in the global marketplace. Here we discuss five key issues to help SME manufacturers make the most of the export trade.

 

1. Get sound advice. The government’s UK Trade & Investment team offers SMEs valuable support and information on overseas markets, including trade missions. Whether you are a seasoned exporter or simply want to find out more about international trading, UKTI are go-to people.

 

2. Don’t let cashflow suffer. The period between despatching your goods and getting paid is longer in the export trade than domestic markets. This often puts pressure on cashflow, so use letters of credit to ensure payment. In some cases you may need to request cleared funds before shipment, particularly with new customers in high-risk economies.

3. Be sure of your product’s performance in new markets. It’s worth investing in test equipment to evaluate the effect of different climatic conditions on your product. The saying that you rarely get a second chance to correct a poor first impression is especially true of export markets.

 

4. Research new markets thoroughly. Desktop research can be used to cost-effectively identify the most suitable markets for your product. This can save thousands of pounds on travelling to potential trading territories and enable you to focus on the right sized export market in a geographical location that suits your product and exporting experience.

 

5. Understand the culture. It’s crucial to understand and respect the culture of the countries you are exporting to. Investing time in learning forms of greetings and business etiquette will generate handsome returns as you build relationships and develop trading networks.

 

6. Get the right legal advice. If at all possible, ensure your contracts are under British legal jurisdiction. This is a major advantage if you face litigation. Regardless of jurisdiction, you should take professional advice from a commercial law firm before signing any contracts.

 

For more information, contact Ginni Cooper on 01772 821021.