Over Half of UK Small Businesses Set to Enter New Markets by 2017

Small businesses continue to strive for growth with majority planning to target new markets at home and overseas in the next two years

Over Half of UK Small Businesses Set to Enter New Markets by 2017

More than half of UK small and medium businesses plan to enter new overseas markets by 2017, with 34% looking to export and a further 30% hoping to tap into new markets in the UK, research by Albion Ventures has found.

Of the 34% of firms that plan to expand overseas, the report found that 19% expect to export to markets outside of the EU while 15% are planning to stick to a single market.

Medium-sized firms appear to be more ambitious than small companies when it comes to growth – 77% expect to target new markets in the next two years compared to 53% of small companies.

In regards to sectors, manufacturing firms led the way with 75% planning to enter new markets, followed by marketing and advertising at 68% and IT/ telecoms at 56%.

Regionally, London-based firms are the most likely to enter new markets at 66% with the South West, and Scotland and the North East following close behind at 62% and 59% respectively. Businesses based in Wales are the least likely at 50%.

The report also highlighted challenges faced by small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand into new markets.

Lack of expertise and regulations were the main obstacle listed by companies who are experiencing problems, with 13% stating so to each. Other challenges included strong competition (12%) and lack of demand (12%).

Managing partner of Albion Ventures, Patrick Reeve, commented:

“Given the EU’s continuing economic travails, it’s of little surprise that other overseas markets are proving more popular.

“Breaking into new markets is easier said than done and all too often small firms lack the necessary expertise to overcome established competitors”.

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