It may be only March but already the export experts over at UK Trade & Investment are looking forward to Export Week. Taking place over the 18th -22nd May, Export Week is designed to help UK businesses to increase existing levels of overseas trade or to start their journey into exporting.
According to UKTI, previous events have seen over 17,000 companies attend workshops, seminars and briefings across the UK. At the time of writing details of this year’s events have yet to be released but already UKTI are starting to publicise Export Week; encouraging businesses to think about whether exporting may be right for them and to explore potential markets.
In theory there has never been a better time to look at exporting. With strong communication links allied to an ever upwards trend in fast broadband connectivity businesses can generally now communicate as easily with buyers abroad as they can with those in the next street. Admittedly the current Sterling/Euro rate is making UK exports to the Eurozone seem comparatively more expensive than they were a year ago but the true effect of this has not as yet shown through in official statistics so it is not easy to judge what effect this maybe having on international trade.
When moving into new markets; businesses may, understandably, be somewhat cautious, initially not wanting to commit too many resources in a venture which may not turn out as expected. This is one area where UKTI can help to make a difference, bringing their expertise to bear on helping businesses to source markets which are right for them. But there are also small incremental steps which businesses can take which will help them initially to gain a foothold in overseas marketplaces.
Depending on the country chosen and the nature of the business, organisations may choose to offer up a translated version of their website; saving potential customers from having to rely on ‘Google translate’ or similar services to map content into their native language. Businesses may also opt for telephony services which will encourage callers to contact them VoIP is one such service, offering the advantages which can come from making calls via the internet but encouraging potential customers to get in touch by offering appropriate telephone numbers can also make a difference.
With international, national and local regional numbers to choose from, businesses can choose phone numbers to suit their future customer mix. For example, the China 401 freephone number provides a single telephone number which can be used across the whole of China. Calls can be seamlessly redirected to UK offices, or offices elsewhere in the world as required, meaning that businesses don’t have to have a local base to have a local number; helping to make exporting look that little bit more cost effective than it once did.