Exporting: Challenges of Doing Business Internationally
Find out how to overcome the most common hurdles of trading overseas
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.
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, regulatory and intellectual property issues
The barriers to success which exporters talk about most are legal and regulatory issues. Some firms also say that intellectual property (IP) protection can be an issue. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can help in this area. Also see the small business article Help for Exporters.
Adopting the right mindset is vital to overcoming such hurdles. Every country has its own trading, taxation and IP systems and you will need to be willing to get to grips with those systems and adapt to them.
So doing your homework is vital when planning market entry.
Managing overseas risk
Political and economic developments, cyber risks, bribery and corruption – these are some of the issues your business could face when you begin to trade overseas or expand into fresh markets.
UK Trade & Investment and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office bring together authoritative, accessible and topical information online on countries and the key issues related to their political, economic and business security environments.
This can help you identify and understand possible risks – and guard effectively against them.
“We have a long-term development strategy to achieve a strong presence in global markets. This is important as it allows us to be far more competitive, whilst giving us access to new technologies, manufacturers, skills and materials, all of which feed our creativity and influence new product development”
Richard Liddle, Founder and Managing Director, COHDA Design