Export Experts Event
I’m lucky to be involved in the South Coast Export Club, a new initiative from Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce, Chichester Chamber of Commerce and University of Chichester.
Today we ran an Export Experts event.
Export is high up on the government’s agenda and always has been. They need the country to export more to make the economy even better. The UK has a trade deficit, that is we import more than we export, which costs the country money.
Over half of all UK Exports are done by Small and Medium Enterprises. Half of the UK’s Exports are service sector based the other half is product based. Which is more what we would traditionally associate with export.
Today’s Export Expert event was attended by around 48 businesses. There were 5 guest speakers and plenty of food and drink. There always has to be plenty of food and drink.
The guest speakers were Stephen Golding from UKTI. He talked about the services and support that are provided by the Government to get a business export and to grow their business through exporting. There were two key points from I picked up from here. If you are new to exporting they run a passport to export service, 2 days of developing an export strategy and then you get 12 months of mentoring from an international trade advisor. The other key area of support is in country. This is provided by the UKTI staff based in the Embassies, where they can carry out local research for you and help find your local contacts for your business.
The other guest speakers included;
Peter Webb from Electronic Temperature Instruments, talked about his journey to Export success.
- The tops tips he gave was to start with countries that speak your language. He started with the USA and Australia.
- The other top tip was that you can’t beat face to face interaction and this is now even easier with Skype.
Russell Ogden from SkiMarket who went through how his e-commerce business has exported across 50 countries and 6 continents. Russell’s top tips included;
- If you are an e-commerce retailer, look at Amazons fulfillment services in the countries you want to export to
- Exporting on line can be really simple, just enable your website for international trade
Martin Breen from AMG Actuators Ltd talked about his journey from a chance contact in Kazakhstan to now exporting 95% of his sales. Martin’s top tips were;
- Sell on being British, we are recognised globally for high quality and trustworthiness.
- It is easy, but make sure you have the right people in place.
Lastly we heard from James Bowker who works for UK Export Finance, a Government funded programme to support the finance and export credit needs of firms that are selling to overseas markets. UK Export Finance is the UK Export Credit Agency, an agency that most countries have to support export. They provide guarantees to banks to share the risk of export finance and support UK exporters with insurance.
The event was excellent, there was some brilliant networking over a delicious lunch and a delightful terrace to get some fresh air on.
I made some great contacts and learnt a lot about exporting. The key points for me to take away was that it is really quite simple to export and that there is a lot of support available.
If you want to know more about exporting and growing your business through overseas markets, then join the University of Chichester Export Hot House Programme, which is part of the South Coast Export Club and joint initiative by local chambers of commerce.