In his latest article for Business Advice, David Poole, a managing sales director at FedEx Express, considers how the owners of small firms can capitalise on global business opportunities.
The New Year has always signified change and a renewed outlook and, in 2017, the international marketplace offers numerous exciting opportunities for small British companies to take their business global.
With ever-improving interconnectivity, technological innovation and new routes for trade and travel, exporting overseas and reaching global customers is more vital to the continued growth and success of small companies than ever before.
To help connect UK companies to global business opportunities, below are five top tips to help small firms adopt a global mindset and reach the true potential of international trade.
1. Prioritise your infrastructure
Business infrastructure is essential for small firms considering going global and this is something international entrepreneurs should bear in mind from the outset. To ensure customer satisfaction, communicate with the customers every step of the way and review your dispatch, transport and delivery processes.
This will in turn strengthen your supply chain. Your transportation provider should be able to help you streamline your delivery processes, which will in turn give you peace of mind – as well as the opportunity to turn your attention to other areas of the business.
2. See things for yourself
Global business opportunities are now more accessible than ever before thanks to constantly improving interconnectivity, communication methods and travel options.
Nevertheless, no technological advancement will top the importance of face-to-face interaction when it comes to cultivating long-term relationships with clients, suppliers, distributors and other key contacts.
Entrepreneurs tend to make better and more informed business decisions when personally visiting and experiencing potential business destinations. Moreover, face-to-face meetings can impart insights otherwise lost via email or telephone conversations that could influence important future business decisions.
3. Support and develop your team
Sustaining growth and expansion overseas rests on a dependable, cohesive, productive and engaged workforce – especially as international trade requires a system of staff, suppliers, partners and local contacts sometimes working across several countries.
Taking even a few moments every so often to appreciate and thank your team will go a long way – as well as improving retention rates and earning the continued support of your staff.
4. Adapt, react and prepare in advance
Adaptability is a particularly valuable asset when it comes to overseas trade. Fluctuations within global supply chains and international marketplaces are unavoidable – meaning companies able to quickly respond and adapt their processes in response are at a special advantage.
By thoroughly researching potential new markets – as well as understanding respective differences and variances – entrepreneurs can cover as many bases as possible before launching a business overseas.
Ensure you are fully prepared for any eventuality – your future trade, commerce and long-term business success may benefit from a flexible and forward-thinking approach.
5. Think globally – and be ambitious
Taking a business worldwide requires a truly global mindset for motivated entrepreneurs to reach dynamic and potentially lucrative international markets.
The increasing importance of innovation and creativity in successful business models also aligns with inherently entrepreneurial qualities respected all over the world – further improving the chances of achieving international success.
The entrepreneurial landscape contains numerous exciting opportunities for international trade, commerce and overseas business success.
With 73 per cent of small UK firms currently doing business outside of Europe, outwards-looking and entrepreneurially-minded companies are frontrunners when it comes to participating in and contributing to global business.
Equipped with the right information and resources, more small businesses can improve their prospects and benefit from dynamic overseas opportunities with a little preparation and the proper mindset in place.
David Poole is sales managing director, UK South at FedEx Express
Read on to find out David Poole’s essential tops for ensuring an effective small business supply chain.
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