Trading Abroad

Data released today (7th November) has revealed that the UK’s trade deficit for the month of September has widened to £2.8 billion, compared with £1.8 billion in August. Partly reflecting a weakness in the Eurozone, the deficit to the UK’s largest trading partner, Germany, widened as did the deficit to the USA. However, these were partly offset by improvements in our trading status with China and Hong Kong reflecting a rise in exports and falling imports.

Commenting on the results British Chambers of Commerce Chief Economist, David Kern, said “We must drastically change our approach to supporting exporters as we are failing to make adequate progress towards rebalancing the economy.”  

For those looking to move into the export market there is plenty of advice to be found online and UKTI offers a suite of services and information for exporters. But there are some simple steps which potential exporters can take to instantly boost their visibility abroad. The first of these is to pay some attention to website language and layout. Some may argue that with search engines offering to “translate this page” there is no need for a multi-language website but depending on your marketplace you may well find that taking the time to offer an alternate language pays off.

Whichever language combination you choose it is also important that your business is easily contactable. Businesses now have access to a range of international telephone numbers from toll free freephone numbers to local or regional phone numbers. Picking and advertising the right international phone number to resonate with your potential client base can make a considerable difference to successful exporting. 

For example, those wishing to capitalise on our improved trading status with China may opt for a China 401 toll free number. This single number covers all of the 31 Chinese provinces, potentially opening up your services to some 900 million phone users. Or with Germany being the UK’s largest trading partner you may choose to opt for a series of international regional numbers. Dialled from within Germany in exactly the same way as any other regional call these regional numbers promote a more local presence in a country, helping to personalise the trading relationship.

Whichever international number combination is chosen, the best bit is that you don’t need to establish a physical presence in the country to receive calls. Seamless switching means that calls can be automatically diverted to any nominated phone point within the UK or elsewhere, thereby helping you to boost your export potential.

Written by Alison