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SME: Guide to exporting abroad


For small businesses, exporting goods abroad can be a big challenge. As many SMEs begin to get ‘fed up’ with many wide-ranging issues, exporting can definitely be counted among them. It requires, time, influence, resources, and a long reach in order to make waves in this arena – of course, many SMEs don’t have these virtuous traits in their earlier days.

Still, does that mean exporting abroad is impossible for SMEs? Well, the short answer is no. There’re a variety of creative ways by which they can make it all work.

Consequently, here’s a quick guide for SME’s who’re looking to export their goods abroad.

Export to expand

Exporting isn’t the answer to every problem a business is facing. In fact, done improperly, it can beset firms with even more problems. If your SME is going to export, then timing is key. You need to act at the right time in order to expand your business, lest you risk setting it back a long way indeed.

Therefore, before you put any solid plans in motion, remember this; you should only export to expand. When you’ve dried up all the local opportunities around you, and your SME is considered a success in the local area, then comes the time to start exporting. Get the timing right from a strategic standpoint, and success in exportation is much more likely.

Goods restrictions

Just because you want to export goods, it doesn’t always mean that you physically can. Different countries have different laws pertaining to what can and cannot be exported and imported. For example, if your SME deals with perfumes and fragrances, you’ll face numerous hurdles getting these goods overseas; particularly because they’re banned on most normal flights anyway!

In some cases, there’s some wiggle room, and other’s there’s none at all. Some products are outright prohibited from crossing borders, so make sure that you do your research to ensure that your SME is compatible with the businesses and countries you’re trading with. Only then will you be certain that your exporting efforts will succeed.

The good places

Timing is important but being informed is just as good too. Your SME isn’t the first business to export goods, and it won’t be the last. Many firms have done better than others, simply because they’ve shipped their goods to places that provide routine success rates and interest. Do your research and unearth a rundown of all the places that are good to ship to, and move from there.

The United States, Germany, France and the Netherlands are just some of the countries that UK businesses do the most lucrative exporting deals with. Keep these things in mind when getting set up. You’re much better off concentrating your exporting efforts in places where you know you’ll see the best returns, than shipping goods off to some obscure location that won’t help you grow your SME further.

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