When consulting stats on the long-term success of small businesses, it is clear that growth is one of the most important factors when it comes to the sustainability of a mature small business. When one considers how to grow a business, they will often seek out gurus who provide help for small businesses UK wide. A mentor can help open your eyes to new opportunities – one of which is the possibility of exporting goods and services.
As of 2016, approximately 60% of small businesses in the UK were not exporting abroad. There were a number of factors relating to why so many businesses were tentative about exporting. Reasons cited by small business entrepreneurs were language barriers, custom costs and a lack of market knowledge. It is clear that ‘knowledge’ (or lack thereof) is a key barrier to many small business owners in taking such a chance. But risk can be an important part of how to make a successful business. And often ‘risks’ are classed as such purely because a business owner does not have the knowledge to identify and differentiate a risk that can pay off from a risk that is equatable to buying a lottery ticket. Let’s take custom costs as an example. According to the Royal Mail, the price of most international orders are below the threshold for custom duty charges. Despite this, 26% of small business owners identified this as a barrier to exporting. So a lack of knowledge leads to missed opportunities. Amongst those small businesses selling abroad, it was thought that 25% of their sales during the Christmas period were from international buyers. So if you want to grow your business, think of selling internationally.
As of 2017, things are very different. Now, it is thought that 63% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are exporting. This has been largely due to small businesses making good on a declining pound. But is this extra revenue stream to make up for poor domestic performance? Well, of those SMEs who were exporting, just under a third of these businesses had experienced an increase in revenue over a 12 month period; with a third of these businesses also expected to grow in the coming year. Who says you can’t grow in an economy fuelled by political uncertainty? It isn’t just EU businesses and individuals that have traded with UK SMEs, but also businesses in the U.S., Australia and India – the latter of which is an emerging market that offers terrific opportunities for small businesses to grow. So those seeking UK small business advice should reflect on if they are taking advantage of such opportunities. Mentors can provide help for small businesses UK wide, but those who want to grow their mature small businesses need to have an open mind and be open to change.
While such moves are an essential part of how to be successful in business, opening up your business to the international market can be scary; but it doesn’t need to be. If you are looking for a mentor offering help for small businesses UK wide, look for one with the experience of working with international businesses. They will have the knowledge to help you feel more comfortable in opening your business up to international markets.