Top 3 reasons why your business should start exporting

Zoe Bagnall
Content and PR Executive | Business West
16th December 2020

Research has shown that businesses are 11% more likely to survive if they export. The reasons for this range from spreading risk amongst different markets, to boosting turnover and improving innovation due to the requirement to develop products for specific markets. 

While the ONS has reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the UK’s total imports and exports, there have been instances in some sectors, of a growth in exports in new markets.

For example, in the food and drink sector, in the first quarter of 2020, while the COVID-19 pandemic hit exports from the UK to the EU, non-EU sales of branded goods grew. 

Exporting is all about taking the right steps at the right time to reach your businesses’ full potential. That’s why the Department for International Trade has developed The Export Academy, delivered by Business West in the South West of England. It aims to help grow your business by showing you step-by-step how to sell to new customers around the world.

The course, which is offered free of charge for owners and senior managers of businesses can be applied for here. Attendees will learn from experts in international trade across a range of sectors and take part in webinars, round tables, and mentoring sessions.  

But what are the benefits of exporting? 

Increased sales 

Once a company has saturated its local market, it can be advantageous to start looking internationally for opportunities, which also has benefits in terms of encouraging a company to innovate.

An example of a company Business West has supported is Tomcat Special Needs Innovation. The company has developed accessible trikes and has now created over 50 innovations.  It wanted to globalise to help children across the world who do not have access to suitable exercise equipment. 

When it first started exporting to Belgium, it did not have mud guards on the bike or a basket and could not get insurance in that market because of this. By looking at new countries with the support of the Department for International Trade, (DIT) and Business West, this led them to create products suitable for specific overseas buyers. 

Increased profit margins

Exporting goods can significantly increase profits. This is largely because when overseas buyers order stock they are more likely to do so in large quantities. 

Research and development (R&D) and other costs can also be offset when sales increase due to international business. 

During an economic downturn such as the one triggered by the current pandemic, it is advantageous for companies to look to overseas markets that have not been as severely affected to increase profits. For example, reports have shown that whilst economies around the world have struggled amid lockdown, Asian economies have grown

Less risk 

Exporting products can help companies to stay resilient through balancing their risk amongst several markets.

Research carried out by HSBC has shown that companies who export are more resilient to downturns in the economy and grow more rapidly than those trading domestically.  

With customers located in several different markets, companies are less likely to feel the impact of economic decline or decrease in product interest. 

If you’re new to exporting or have only been trading with the EU to date, read our guide on exporting after Brexit to make sure you’re not only clued up about the benefits of exporting, but also the logistics.

  • Export Academy - a free programme to support your international sales

    With 2020 being a challenging year for most businesses, we want to support you to get your exports back on track in 2021 with the launch of the Export Academy in the South West.

    Export Academy gives new and novice exporters the skills, knowledge, and confidence to start selling goods or services to customers around the world.

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