Exporting isn't simply an add-on to your existing business. It should be part of an overall strategy to develop the business.
Before you start exporting, it's worth making sure you have developed a complete export plan looking at all the costs and risks involved.
Challenges of exporting
- Understanding what export customers want and how the market operates is vital. Read more about researching and entering overseas markets.
- You need to cope with extra logistical problems, contractual issues and paperwork. You may require a contract drawn up using internationally recognised terms and conditions and standard commercial practices to make it clear what your responsibilities are. There's also a range of international trade paperwork for sorting out transport, customs clearance and payments.
- If you are VAT registered, you must provide details of all your transactions with other European Union (EU) member states on your VAT return. If the value of goods you buy from or sell to other EU countries reaches the sales or purchases Intrastat threshold during the course of a calendar year you must submit additional monthly supplementary declarations to HM Revenue & Customs.
- You need to comply with regulations in both the UK and overseas. For example, some goods that are allowed in the UK might not satisfy another country's standards or even be legal there.
- Exporting demands additional resources, both in terms of financing and skilled personnel. Find out more about how to assess your skills and resources for exporting. It can also present extra risks.
If you have got a good product to offer and a well-run business, the chances are there are opportunities out there. If the rewards you expect justify the investment and the risks, you should commit to your export plan and make it happen.
Read more about the available support for exporting.