SMEs advised to export to achieve full potential

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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are being urged to take a “global outlook” to avoid hitting a growth ceiling.

Barclays has revealed new research, highlighting the importance that exporting has to play in the development of smaller businesses.

According to the bank’s study, it takes an average of four years before SMEs realise that the UK market alone will no longer be able to help them achieve their aspirations of expansion.

Over half of the companies surveyed said that a psychological barrier was the main reason why they hadn’t started exporting sooner. However, 86 per cent of firms that had already started to export revealed that they had found it to be either as they had expected or even easier than they had anticipated.
 
Barclays Business Banking head of international Simon Nicholson said: “What strikes me about our research is how successful at exporting SMEs are.

“This is despite 60 per cent claiming to have ‘fallen into it’, or only looking at it when an overseas customer got in touch,” he added.

As a result, Mr Nicholson has urged businesses to take a more active approach when it comes to pushing their wares onto a foreign market.

Of those who claimed the factors holding them back had been psychological, many said they simply didn’t know where to start or didn’t think it would work for them – with companies based in south-east England and the East Midlands the most guilty of stopping themselves from moving forward.

However, according to research released earlier this year by the American Express/CFO Research Global Business and Spending Monitor, many SMEs have already started taking the steps required to cater for overseas clients.

The study found that smaller firms are attempting to tap into markets as far away as Brazil and Singapore to achieve growth – while 17 per cent of businesses had specifically prioritised making the most of exporting opportunities in 2013.

Posted by the Secret Businessman