Export

Small businesses are thinking big with overseas expansion

Rebecca Smith | 25 November 2015 | 8 years ago

Shipping2

Micro and smallfirms are planning for big futures, with 58 per cent intending on entering new markets in the next two years.

Despite recent figures from the CBI which found output among small and medium-sized manufacturers fell in the three months to October, with both domestic and export orders dropping, new research from Albion Ventures suggests the manufacturing sector hopes to lead the way in exporting.

Three-quarters of manufacturing companies intend to enter new markets, which was the highest of any sector. It was also top for expansion within the EU at 28 per cent. Firms in media, marketing and advertising and IT and telecoms were second and third with 68 and 56 per cent of businesses planning to branch out internationally in the near future.

Some 34 per cent of small and medium-sized firms will be looking to break into new markets overseas, with nearly a fifth looking outside of the EU to do so. A further 15 per cent of small businesses plan to grow through launching new products and improving their online services.

This is seen as important for those looking to capitalise on ecommerce. More than half of Chinese buyers, who are responsible for a fifth of British exportsaccording to a PayPal study, said they returned to a website they had used previously.

PayPal’s UK MD Cameron McLean said businesses should concentrate on making use of the vast, borderless potential of mobile.

There was still room for smaller firms in particular to be greater supported in growth ambitions however. The third Albion Growth Report, exploring the factors that can create and impede growth for over 1, 000 SMEs, found that medium-sized companies were more likely to be looking to expand into new markets (77 per cent) than small businesses (53 per cent).

Problems cited by businesses trying to enter new markets included lack of expertise, too many regulatory obstacles, strong competition and lack of demand.

Patrick Reeve, managing partner at Albion Ventures, said: The search for new markets among small businesses is gathering pace with much of the effort focused outside the UK. Given the EU’s continuing economic travails, it’s of little surprise that other overseas markets are proving more popular.

He thinks that too often small firms lack the necessary expertise to overcome established competitors. Reeve suggested external equity investors as one route to finding support as for those companies which manage to get it right conquering new markets can have a transformational effect.

Image: Shutterstock

Topic

Export

Related Topics

How To Export Goods From The UK
24 February 2022

How To Export Goods From The UK

Read More →
Trade considerations post-Brexit
26 August 2021

Trade considerations post-Brexit

Read More →
What business owners need to know before exporting for the first time
25 September 2018

What business owners need to know before exporting for the first time

Read More →
Why arent small business owners planning for a chaotic? no-deal Brexit?
18 September 2018

Why arent small business owners planning for a chaotic? no-deal Brexit?

Read More →
A Yorkshire skincare brand capitalising on demand for authentic British goods
6 September 2018

A Yorkshire skincare brand capitalising on demand for authentic British goods

Read More →
Barclays opens major? new trade centre to boost UK exports
4 September 2018

Barclays opens major? new trade centre to boost UK exports

Read More →

If you enjoy reading our articles,
why not sign up for our newsletter?

We commit to just delivering high-quality material that is specially crafted for our audience.

Join Our Newsletter