Missing Link for Export Support

UKTI is encouraging more exporters, unfortunately they are missing a serious bit of the equation. Many studies over the last few years have shown how low going international is on the agenda of many small companies. Trying to find new overseas markets for many is a daunting and a scary place to be. Exporting is more than just finding an agent/distributor or partner – it’s about leadership, management, recognising there is other ways of doing business, branding , people management and cultural alignment.

UKTI delivers fantastic support but it needs to offer a more rounded service that considers getting the entrepreneurs head in gear for going overseas and the broader business implications.

Going international requires a massive investment – not just financially, but time energy and resource. For those who think it is easy, believe me it’s not! You need the right mindset, once you have it then skies the limit – going international is an extension of domestic activity but be very clear on what you are getting into…….

3 Responses to Missing Link for Export Support

  1. David Clare says:

    I agree that UKTi do a great job, but there is a lot they don’t, and can’t, prepare you for.

    It’s a big old world out there and everyone does things in different ways and the passport to export course only prepares you for a fraction of it.

    Trading internationally involves a whole new way of thinking and working; there’s not only the time difference and cultural changes to deal with, but the way in which businesses in other countries view the business relationship and their obligations.

    Speaking from experience, it’s harder to get help when things are going wrong! It’s all well and good having agreements and agents and lawyers, but those countries are a long way away and you can’t just sit down in the cafe round the corner to iron out your differences.

    Perhaps it’s time someone was there to hold the newbies’ hands….

  2. I have to agree here. If the investment is underestimated, and it often is, it leads to frustration and particularly new and small exporters pull out of exporting altogether after one bad experience. When I hear potential clients not wanting to invest say £500 in solid market research, I doubt they have the commitment to really grow internationally.

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