In today’s challenging economic climate, exporting has become crucial for driving growth and creating opportunities for British businesses, or so Roland Palmer, with years of experience in the SME game, thinks.
The pandemic, the following economic regression, and the Ukraine-Russia war have made the global economy face quite a challenge, and the SMEs in the UK are yet unsure of their future in the next quarter. Many are turning to an experienced and ethical debt/credit collection service in the UK, like Intrum, to ensure cash flow while getting relief from pursuing debtors to focus on their businesses.
In these times, with more and more SMEs closing down for the rising cost of living, and many still facing barriers when it comes to venturing into international markets, an interview with Roland Palmer, the Alibaba Group’s General Manager for the UK, Benelux, and the Nordics, revealed the remarkable benefits awaiting UK exporters, including increased revenue, enhanced innovation, and business expansion.
Let’s explore the immense potential for SMEs to diversify, digitise, and conquer new markets through exporting.
Exporting Boosting Revenue and Innovation: Overcoming Barriers and Reaping Rewards
In a recent study conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Export and International Trade, Palmer discovered that supply chain and logistical issues, a lack of cultural awareness, increased paperwork, and limited product availability were among the perceived challenges that are holding back SMEs.
His study indicated that nearly a quarter of SMEs surveyed don’t export goods, primarily due to concerns about supply chains and logistics. However, for those who’ve taken the leap, exporting accounts for nearly half of their annual revenue.
Beyond economic gains, exporting has sparked innovation, the development of new products, and increased employment opportunities for UK businesses, with a potential of securing 70% growth the next year.
In fact, 81% of the surveyed companies reported that exporting had strengthened their overall business, with 80% considering it crucial for future success.
Nevertheless, Palmer thinks remarkable benefits await UK exporters, including increased revenue, enhanced innovation, and business expansion, once they realise the immense potential for SMEs to diversify, digitise, and conquer new markets through exporting.
Online Marketplaces Are Catalysts for Export
Online marketplaces have emerged as game-changers for SMEs seeking to expand their export reach. Palmer mentions research that showed over 73% of businesses are currently leveraging online marketplaces to boost their export sales, with a significant portion adopting these platforms during the pandemic.
The advantages are clear, as businesses gain access to market insights, improved inventory planning, and opportunities to enter new geographic markets.
However, there remains a gap between SMEs and larger companies in fully harnessing the potential of online marketplaces. While 68% of SMEs work with these platforms, a staggering 86% of larger companies with 250+ employees do the same.
Bridging the Digital Divide: SMEs and the Global Stage
Digital transformation is a pivotal factor in SMEs’ ability to capitalise on the international stage. While larger companies have embraced digitalisation, only 38% of SMEs describe their businesses as fully digital.
By closing this digital divide, the digital landscape simplifies market access, reduces trade complexities, and provides SMEs with a chance to thrive on a global scale.
The export opportunity for UK SMEs is vast and brimming with potential. Overcoming barriers and embracing digital transformation can unlock new revenue streams, foster innovation, and propel SMEs onto the international stage. Thus, it is essential for SMEs to recognize the power of exporting, leverage digital tools, and take confident strides toward global success solidify their position as drivers of economic growth.