Today, International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, will give a speech to mark the launch of government’s new Export Strategy to support British businesses looking to export to the global market.
At ASCG, we’ve long been supporting businesses on their export journey and are expert in providing solutions to meet customers’ unique needs in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way. Below we share some of our top tips for businesses looking to export for the first time…
Research, research, research.
Quite simply, you won’t ever be able to do enough research, so start as soon as possible. No two countries are the same and you should be looking to gather as much information from suppliers and duties through to marketing. Don’t over rely on their market knowledge. In order to make smart decisions for your business, read as much literature as you can and, where possible, conduct your own market research. Having as much knowledge as possible will not only give you peace of mind, but will also provide invaluable nuggets of insight to propel your business forward.
Look for the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) accreditation.
This internationally recognised mark of quality demonstrates that the holder’s role within the supply chain is secure and that its customs controls and procedures are both compliant and efficient. It also facilitates a faster customs clearance.
Partner with a transportation company who are expert in both the UK market and the market you’re looking to export to.
Exporting for the first time can be daunting so make sure you work with partners who have been there and done it to provide support and guidance. Every country’s market is complex and filled with many nuances – don’t risk partnering with a business who doesn’t know it inside out. For example, businesses must be aware of the importance placed on strong business and personal relationships in China. Businesses are expected to deliver on time and on budget without fail, and meeting these expectations is a vital way of maintaining trust whereas India is a highly price competitive market. Working with a supply chain partner already operating in these markets is the most efficient way to fact find and the Department for International Trade offers some good general resources. While it might be viewed as a big investment for an SME, they will derive enormous value from their expertise, and alignment with a well-established partner will also provide a strong platform for future growth in the market.
Beware of local demand spikes.
Each country will have unique spikes in demand for air and sea services, resulting in cargo space shortages and an increase in freight rates. To avoid falling victim to space limitations and to minimise any commercial impact, retailers must plan well in advance, taking into consideration local holidays and events and allowing extra time around these.
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