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What you need to know about exporting

Thinking of exporting?

From reaching more customers to increasing your turnover, here are 10 reasons why exporting could benefit your business.


10 reasons to start exporting

It could be that you’ve been approached by international customers interested in your product or service. Or you’re looking for a new revenue stream to improve your business.

Whatever the reason for considering exporting, the good news is that there’s never been a better time to start.

1. Business growth

It’s the biggest appeal of exporting – and a big benefit. 37% of business that now export said they’d reached their limit in the UK within 3 years. Also, 27% of exporters achieve year-on-year growth of 40% 1.

2. British products and services are in demand

Simply by being British, your products and services are in demand in traditional, established export markets like Europe and the US, as well as in high-growth economies of China, India, Russia and Brazil.

3. The government is behind you

Barclays and the Department for International Trade (DIT) are working together to inspire and support UK businesses to sell overseas, and to connect companies across the world to the UK marketplace. We are proud to support the Exporting is GREAT campaign, which presents real-time export opportunities in all sectors across the world.

4. Access more customers

The EU alone can provide you with access to 500 million customers. Consider opportunities in India and China and that number rises into the billions.

5. It’s easier than you think

Of the businesses surveyed in a recent Barclays report 86% 2 stated that exporting went as well as they were hoping, with some finding it easier than they thought it would be.

6. Improve your business profile

Talk about how your product or service is sold in Europe, the US, the Far East, etc and you’ll find that your credibility and reputation significantly improves.

7. Increased turnover

More customers wanting more of your products – business surveyed said that exporting was responsible for increasing their productivity by 34% in the first year alone 3.

8. Give your products a new lease of life

You may be reaching a saturation point with your products or services here in the UK, but if you take them abroad you could extend their lifespan with new audiences.

9. Spread your risk

Given the competitive UK market, moving your business away from complete domestic dependence could be a good move. With additional revenue streams potentially coming in from international markets, you can spread your risk across a wider range of customers.

10. It’s not just for big business

The internet has thrown open exporting to small businesses, thousands of which already successfully trade with both traditional markets like Europe and the US and lucrative, high growth economies.

Common exporting issues

Having helped thousands of UK businesses to start exporting, we’ve drawn together common exporting issues you might face with ideas on how to handle them.

Find an International Manager

Our team of expert International Managers4 covers the UK, providing businesses with expert support and guidance on trading overseas.

Other services that may interest you

Export documentary collections

Stay in control of your goods once they’ve been dispatched with an export documentary collection.

Exporting letter of credit

Get a guarantee of payment before you commit to sending your goods.

Barclays Business Abroad

Get everything you need to take your business across the globe. Discover Barclays Business Abroad.

Important information

  1. Opinium Research on behalf of Barclays, 2014. 519 online interviews with UK SMEs defined as £0-5m turnover between 27 June and 4 July 2014.
  2. Kingston University research, 2012. 1,500 small businesses, with a turnover of up to £5m, surveyed.
  3. ‘Exporting in the digital age – Helping UK companies to succeed globally’, published June 2014 by UKTI , BRC-KPMG, IMRG-Cap Gemini, BRC, ONS, Centre for Retail Research, IORMA, UKTI December 2015.
  4. Over 80% of our International Managers are independently qualified and have completed their Certificate for International Trade from the Institute of Export.