Exporting can have many benefits linked to growth but is not without risks. Many small businesses are unsure whether it is in their interests to sell their goods and services abroad and are looking for advice and support.Here are some of the best sources online that will help you make up your mind and support you through the process.
The Department for Business & TradeThe Department for Business & Trade (DBT) is the UK government department responsible for developing and delivering its global trade policy to allow businesses to increase their exports. It offers support and advice to companies looking to start exporting or increase the amount they sell overseas.
There is a vast range of content and advice with several free interactive tools on the DBT website great.gov.uk, covering topics such as:
- Learn to export – a step-by-step guide to learning how and where to sell abroad
- Where to export
- Make an export plan
Join the UK Export Academy – build your knowledge with a series of webinars given by experts in international trade. It is for businesses who want to reach international customers and be a party to contracts in the future and those who might already be selling outside the UK and want to expand into new markets.
Export Support Service – speak to the support team by phone or online about selling goods or services to Europe.
Contact an international trade adviser - they will give specific advice tailored to your business.
There are guides to product-specific market data for 193 countries, from Algeria to Zimbabwe, spanning forty-two high-potential sectors for UK business.
UK Export FinanceUK Export Finance is the UK government's export credit agency. It provides cover for UK companies to help them trade with customers worldwide. In the last five years, they have provided over £18.5 billion of support for UK exports.
"Our mission is to ensure no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance from the private sector."
The agency works closely with the DIT to allow companies to sell their goods and services overseas. UKEF can help UK companies to win international contracts by providing attractive financing terms to their buyers, delivering on contracts by supporting working capital loans, and helping to ensure that exporters get paid by insuring against buyer default.
It is also a reliable source for finding export finance managers acting as regional representatives of UKEF, who can be helpful contacts for exporters and businesses with the potential to export. A conversation with an export finance manager will help you better understand your export finance requirements, and, where possible, they will help you to find an appropriate solution to support your export-related transactions.
They are local points of contact for exporters and businesses with export potential and can provide information on:
- payment methods and risks
- the types of finance available
- trade finance (pre- and post-export)
- credit insurance
- foreign exchange risks
British Exporters AssociationBExA https://www.bexa.co.uk/ is a Membership organisation dedicated to providing its members with access to valuable networks and connections within the export community. As a member, you get access to a dedicated helpline that provides expert support covering a wide range of your exporting queries. This could involve advice covering contracts or specific documentation or the regulatory issues involved in exporting to a particular market.
Members are also able to keep up to date with the changing regulatory landscape through a series of networking events and seminars where they can build their contacts and continue their development.
BExA also offers a fantastic range of specialist guides, written by experienced export practitioners that can provide exporters with the knowledge they need to export successfully. These are available to download for free by non-members.
The seven guides cover such topics as Successful Exporting, Export Compliance, Financing Exports, and Export Credit Insurance.
Open to ExportThe Open to Export website https://opentoexport.com/ is a free online information service run by the Institute of Export & International Trade.
It has a range of fantastic tools for businesses considering exporting, informing and guiding you through every part of the process, including a wide range of free webinars about key trade and customs processes. You will find step-by-step guides, and opening an account enables you to develop an Export Action Plan, which you can implement to optimise your venture's chances of success.
Your Local Chamber of Commerce/Chamber InternationalAs part of its role in supporting local businesses, your local chamber of commerce will support and guide its members through the decision to export. Find your nearest Chamber on the British Chambers of Commerce website here.
The network has over 350 trade documentation specialists who can advise businesses on the export documentation required, saving you time and money. They can also provide a range of advice, covering areas such as distribution channels, local market access support, trade missions and shows, and marketing and translation services.
Many chambers of commerce will also have national and international partners who offer services such as interpretation support, legal advice, financial advice, letters of credit and overseas visits. They may also provide training courses and workshops for their members.
For non-members, there may still be information available online, such as blog posts about the subject of exporting.
Chamber International supports businesses throughout the UK in researching, planning, and implementing international trade. They deliver services on behalf of Chambers of Commerce. The Chamber International website has a fantastic range of resources and guides, and they offer a range of training courses to help ensure the success of your export journey.
BizEqualsWe have a dedicated Export section on our website that can help kick-start your export journey or venture into new markets. It covers topics such as Why export, outlining the numerous advantages of exporting, How to Choose a Market, and Competitor Analysis, as well as including a wealth of online resources.
One unique resource is our Overseas Export Advice page. Here you can find links to the government Investment Promotion Agencies in 66 major markets overseas. They provide a huge range of advice and support about how best to invest and trade in those markets. Many offer connections to local business groups and experts who can help facilitate your move into the market.