One Fifth of Small Businesses See Exports as Biggest Source of Growth

Survey reveals exports make up at least 10% of sales for over half of small businesses with a fifth stating overseas sales account for over half of total transactions

An independent survey commissioned by financial and business software provider Exact reveals 19% of UK small businesses see exporting as the biggest potential source of growth.

The study, which consisted of 453 small and mid-sized businesses, revealed that 68% of small and mid-sized businesses watched exports grow last year, and 54% are now currently selling products or services abroad.

The report comes in light of businesses stating that they are generally optimistic about growth this year.

Exporting proves to be a growing source of revenue for small and mid-sized businesses, with overseas sales now amounting to at least 10% of total sales for over half of small businesses, with 18% citing exports account for over half of their total sales. The report also highlighted the importance a business plan has in success abroad, with 74% of the businesses that experienced growth in overseas’ sales having one and 85% confirming that exporting was an important element of their strategy.

The study also highlighted the biggest overseas markets for small and mid-sized businesses currently. The EU was the largest, with 79% targeting Europe; followed by the US at 40%, and finally Brazil, Russia, India and China (24% combined).

General manager at Exact, Lucy Fox, commented on the huge opportunities that overseas markets are presenting:

“Selling to new markets can help grow revenue streams and generate new jobs, as well as diversify risk in case of adverse economic conditions.

“If proof of these benefits was needed, a recent Confederation of British Industry survey shows small businesses who export are 11 per cent more likely to survive than those that don’t, and a UKTI survey shows that those who do are 34 per cent more productive.”

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