50 Business Challenges: No. 15 Export

I was at an inspiring event last week, at which one of the speakers was Steve Brittan, President of the Birmingham Chamber. His company, BSA Machine Tools exports most of its production, not to the EU but to countries such as China and Brazil.

Exporting is not to be done without considering the risks, such as currency fluctuations. Considerable support is available from Chambers of Commerce, and from UKTI, to help you to explore the possibilities and the pitfalls.

There is, however, a tendency to think of exporting in terms of physical goods. Services can also be exported, so that for example I have employed a coach in Canada, and the barriers to my coaching people abroad is only language and insurance restrictions. Lawyers are in the same position, and the whole success of the City of London is based on servicing the whole world.

Size in this context does not matter. I know of a bakery in Sicily with a sideline in taking orders from tourists for macaroons, which were then dispatched around the world.

So in part, this is an attitude of mind, of not being constrained by place. Be open minded – but get it right!




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