Exporting

Business advice articles on the subject of exporting to help your business grow; Everything from Export Tips and Help for Exporters to UKTI services & contacts.

Making and Receiving Payments Within Europe

Making and Receiving Payments Within Europe

An industry-wide initiative aims to increase the speed and reliability of making and receiving payments within Europe. This guide explains BICs and IBANs, and looks at: Sending a payment to Europe Receiving a payment from Europe Sending a payment to Europe Since January 1, 2006, it has been compulsory that all payments to and from Europe must include a Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and International Bank Account Number (IBAN). What are BICs and IBANs? BICs and IBANs fulfill a similar function in Europe as sort codes and account numbers in the UK, ensuring that payments can be quickly and accurately processed. What does an IBAN look like? IBANs usually consist of letters and numbers. Here are some examples of European IBANs: Austria: AT123456789101112131 France: FR123456789101112131 Germany: D... »

Exporting: Help for Exporters

Exporting: Help for Exporters

There are a number of places where UK small businesses can seek help for exporting – from researching websites to organisations that provide support through to financial assistance – Below are listed a wealth of sources of help for exporters. Your Bank Your bank can provide a range of help on topics such as managing foreign transactions, trading overseas in sterling, owning assets abroad, exchange rates and managing foreign exchange risks. For more detailed financial advice and guidance on issues that affect you, you should talk to the international section of your bank. If you can’t find the right person to talk to, you could contact the following people at the one of the five major banks who will point you in the right direction: Barclays John Bevan, Head of Trade and Working... »

Exporting: UK Trade and Investment Services and Contacts

Exporting: UK Trade and Investment Services and Contacts

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) provide a wide range of services for small and medium sized businesses to venture into export markets. Listed below are a number of UKTI schemes and services with local contact points for regional offices. Passport to Export Provides new and inexperienced exporters with the training, planning advice and ongoing support they need to succeed overseas. Overseas Market Introduction Service A tailored service by UKTI’s overseas teams to access market and industry information, identify potential contacts or assist in planning an event. This service attracts a charge Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS) Offers support, advice and some grant funding to eligible companies wishing to research a potential export market. Export Communications Review (ECR) Assess... »

Exporting: Support Services for UK Exporters

Exporting: Support Services for UK Exporters

A wide range of support services exist to help UK exporters and would-be exporters to tackle virtually all of the issues and challenges which they are likely to face, and help them become established in international markets. Following are just some of the many organisations which can help you get started on your exporting journey. UK Trade & Investment UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in global markets and assists overseas firms in bringing their high-quality investment to the UK. UKTI has a global network of 2,400 staff. Its International Trade Advisers (ITAs) around the UK have years of business experience to draw on when advising companies. In 96 markets based in British Embassies and other Diplomatic offices around... »

Exporting: 10 Key Steps

Exporting: 10 Key Steps

Follow these 10 steps for export success: 1. Research your Market Does your prospective foreign customer need what you are selling at the price that will yield you a profit? What is the competition and how will they react?   2. Implement an export strategy and review your capabilities Ask yourself: what would my business gain from exporting?   3. Construct an export plan Define how you will enter the foreign market. Finalise human resources and marketing strategy and allocate an adequate budget to cover export start-up costs.   4. Choose your sales presence Establish whether you need a direct sales operation. Or is an agent or distributor more effective? How will you manage your overseas sales presence?   5. Promote your product How are you going to market and sell your... »

Exporting: Late or Non-payment for Overseas Sales

Exporting: Late or Non-payment for Overseas Sales

The risk of late or even non-payment can sometimes be greater when doing business internationally. Ensuring you get paid for overseas sales is a combination of assessing risk, settling on acceptable payment terms and methods and considering insurance to protect yourself against problems. To minimise the risks of nonpayment, you should research the market conditions in your target country and the credit worthiness of potential customers before you start trading. There are also currency issues you need to consider. In some countries where there are restrictions on access to foreign currency, your customers may face problems getting currency to pay you. In this case, it’s worth insisting on a (confirmed) irrevocable letter of credit that secures payments according to the terms of the cr... »

Exporting: Transporting Goods Overseas

Exporting: Transporting Goods Overseas

Getting international transport right can be complicated and depends on the agreement you have with your customer or supplier. Your obligations should be clearly set out in a written contract using Incoterms – standard trade terms which state who is responsible for transporting goods, insuring the goods during transportation, paying duties and customs clearance. The best mode of transport for your goods will depend on the type of goods and how quickly they need to be delivered. You may need more than one mode, for example, sending goods by lorry to a port in the UK and then by ship overseas.  In all instances, the goods will need suitable packaging and labelling for transportation. You should clarify in advance who will be responsible for UK customs procedures, for freight and insurance, a... »

Exporting: Local Language and Cultural Barriers

Exporting: Local Language and Cultural Barriers

Every market is different, and companies need to be sensitive to local ways of doing business, even in different regions of the same country. Lack of awareness and knowledge of local cultural norms can impede the development of a business relationship. Being able to speak the language of your potential customers can help to establish mutual confidence. If you don’t speak the local language, you could consider investing in foreign language training for your staff. Alternatively, you could employ a translator or interpreter. It can also help to have your promotional material translated. It’s a good idea to avoid colloquialisms and metaphors in promotional material – they could be embarrassing in the local language. You should conduct research into your target market to establish local consid... »

Exporting: Challenges of Doing Business Internationally

Exporting: Challenges of Doing Business Internationally

Exporting may be a challenge, but the potential rewards are huge. Below are some of the most commonly cited hurdles to doing business internationally, and advice on how to overcome them. Resource costs Entering an overseas market may require both financial investment and an increase in manpower. Timescales can also be an issue, with short-term ‘pay back’ not necessarily guaranteed. It’s advisable to discuss your financial position with your accountant and bank manager before committing to exporting. It is also important to take the long-term view and build appropriate timescales into your projections. Customers and partners in high-growth markets, for example, tend to put an essential value on relationships and it is unusual for a return on investment to emerge within the first year. Legal... »

Exporting: Selling and Marketing Strategy

Exporting: Selling and Marketing Strategy

Selling and distribution Once the initial homework has been done, and you have decided on the export market/s to approach, you then need to organise your sales presence there. Depending on your product/service, you may be able to sell directly. For example, you might be able to sell over the internet or by exhibiting at local trade shows. Many businesses look for a partner who already understands the local market. For example: You can sell to a distributor who then sells your products locally. Note that a distributor takes title of the goods once the sales transaction is complete; and is responsible thereafter for any profit or loss in stocking and selling them on. You can use a sales agent who sells products on your behalf, or puts you into contact with potential customers on a commission... »

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