How to export (& what NOT to do)

 

Lara Morgan learned about exporting the hard way. Here, she shares frank and honest insights and tips from her exporting experience.

During UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) Export Week,  thousands of companies will be opening their doors to show the rest of the world why Britain is a great place to do business.
While some businesses are embracing exports and taking the world by storm, others are still getting it very wrong.

Here are my tips for how to make the most of exporting – and what to avoid:

Get OUT there!

Visit likely territories and find out if there is a market. Companies always look at the negatives of export markets when actually these factors can be quite the opposite – larger orders, upfront payment and growing markets. Plus, an English accent can get you a long way.

People don’t realise how good bank financial controls can be, and how willing banks are to help companies minimise export risk and get growth funding for export. British businesses’ approach to law and ethics is respected in nearly every corner of the world, so it is inexcusable not to have a go.

Eyes on the prize

Focus on the bigger margin, larger volume opportunities. By opening accounts with the best client in town you’ll soon have the others following.

Stay lean

There is no need to spend money on expensive overheads. Lead by example, book an economy flight, get out there, do your research, solve problems and learn to sleep standing up – it takes practice but it can be done.

Don’t ship fresh air

Maximise your pallet loads to minimise shipment costs.

Pick your team wisely

DO NOT put your best people abroad and expect them to succeed fast. Employ locals in local territories – ideally taken straight from your major competitor in that land.

More on exporting:

Biggest barriers to exporting – video and blog

If you want to grow fast – export – blog and case study

About the Author Lara Morgan

Lara Morgan is best known for growing Pacific Direct, from start-up to successful exit, 23 years later. She now invests her time in fast growth companies and represents UKTI as an Export Ambassador, having previously exported to 110 countries. Her vast experience and business knowledge includes specialisms in licensing luxury brands, manufacturing toiletries and selling to the hospitality environment through complex global distribution chains. She's also an expert in leadership and developing talent having learnt through her own experiences of employing 500 employees in an open fast growth sales culture.

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