Technology is changing our world and the way we interact with each other. The view from your shop window is no longer the only space you can occupy – so how about making money whilst you are sleeping?

With the UKTI estimating that by 2018 the value of UK E-Commerce is set to rise to £60 billion there are compelling reasons to explore business opportunities in other markets. We explore three advantages of becoming an exporter.

Advantage 1 – Find more customers
Operating in new markets expands the number of potential prospects available for you to convert to customers. The country or countries you choose to do business with will definitely affect the level of success. Research is vital and should help to identify a short-list of countries where your product or service would be well-received and where there is a business opportunity

“The country or countries you choose to do business with will definitely affect the level of success”

Companies such as Hove based Bonnie Baby have taken advantage of new markets opened up by a bourgeoning middle class in many parts of South East Asia. Using design, heritage and industry knowledge, the company has grown from start-up to international brand clothing the best-dressed babies in South Korea.

Advantage 2 – Be a bricks and clicks business
The UKTI say 15 million Chinese Consumers will want to shop on the websites of British businesses in the next five years. That’s a huge group of people and five years is only a short period of time. So as opportunity appears to be knocking, it is fair to assume that online competition is going to get fierce as businesses begin to seize advantage.

“15 million Chinese Consumers will want to shop on the websites of British businesses in the next five years”

The great thing about E-commerce is that you can be a business that operates in a shed in your domestic market but going online makes you so much bigger. The opportunity for traditional high street businesses is also sizable. The combination of a shop front that operates within normal working hours and an E-commerce site that is alive with busy shopping carts when you are asleep adds strength to your existing set up and makes global business an achievable reality.

Advantage 3 – Find new opportunities
Exporting to new markets will inevitably get you closer to customers who live and work within an environment different to your own. Once you begin trading overseas you may find that your new customers present you with new business opportunities.

For example, you may have a business selling handmade chocolates into overseas markets and find that in a particular country there is an annual celebration for which themed chocolate gifts could be in high demand. This is an additional sales opportunity you would not have encountered within your domestic market.

“trading overseas you may find that your new customers present you with new business opportunities”

Exporting is not an easy option but there are clear advantages to expanding your operations to attract new revenue. To enjoy the benefits of trading overseas you need to start with expert advice – here are some organisations or contacts that can help you get started:

  • UK Trade and Investment – the government backed hub and resource centre covering offering a wide range of resources, tools and information on growing globally
  • Industry specialists, The Institute of Export offer access to a world renowned suite of qualifications, training and guidance

thebigword is also supporting Export Week. Hosted by UK Trade and Investment a wealth of events, seminars and workshops run across the week and offer practical advice on doing business overseas.

Once you understand the world of opportunity exporting can open up, wherever you start from, the benefits of trading overseas can not only give you the competitive edge, but also transform an organisation.