Rory Uniacke, head of international trade at UK Trade and Investment for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, explains why Cornish businesses should seriously consider export
Why should I think about export?
Sales in overseas markets can be a fantastic way of building your business. Nowadays, with broadband, global markets are closer than ever before and many businesses are opening their eyes to the huge opportunities overseas. Export can help you grow your business and spread risk.
Many Cornish businesses have already built substantial trade overseas and are continuing to expand into new markets.
What help is there for small and medium sized businesses in Cornwall that would like to build business overseas?
There is an unprecedented level of support currently available to help SMEs in Cornwall export, thanks to funding through the Convergence Programme. This means that the level of assistance available is higher than ever before – and also more intensive than anywhere else in the UK!
This innovative project is called the UKTI Globalisation Project in Cornwall.
Who are UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)?
They are the government department that help UK businesses export (as well as work to attract more investment in the UK.)
Will I have my own local advisor?
Yes. You will have your own advisor who will come to see you and can help you with every aspect of building your business overseas. This can include help with red tape and paperwork, as well as insight and information about cultural issues related to particular countries. They can also help you with finding agents and distributors overseas.
Is this support just for businesses that already trade overseas?
No, whether you are a complete newcomer to export or an old hand with scope to improve your sales performance overseas, we can help.
Is there financial support available for SMEs in Cornwall?
Yes, financial support (in the form of matched funding) is available to help eligible businesses gear up for trading internationally. This could include financial help towards attending international trade exhibitions or make visits to overseas markets to research the opportunity and investigate the market. These can be vital first steps, allowing you to make contacts and reach out to prospective customers overseas.
Is there also financial help to internationalise my website or other marketing materials?
Yes, for eligible businesses, there is also assistance to develop a strategic overseas marketing and communications plan. We can help you internationalise your website through translation into other languages and even help with search engine optimisation and social media to make sure that your website performs well in overseas markets.
Can you help me assess which overseas markets have potential for my business?
We can point you towards new international growth markets with the best opportunities for your business and can put you in touch with important contacts in key markets, as well as arrange trade missions.
How can I tell if my business is ready to move into export?
You will certainly need to be able to give time and energy to making international success happen. And of course, you must be able to scale up your business. So your business must be at a stage where you have the capacity and ambition to make the step up to the next level.
I may need to team up with other businesses in order to exploit the opportunity to export. Can you help?
Yes, here is support for businesses to form joint ventures and alliances in order to export – as well as a number of training courses and workshops to set you on the path to overseas success.
Don’t miss out! Contact the UKTI Globalisation Project in Cornwall today to discover how we can help you build your business overseas.