For the would-be entrepreneur with an eye on potential overseas markets, particularly within countries where English may not be the primary spoken language, there should be two major areas of concern. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the first of these is finding up-to-date and reliable business intelligence.
The second is effective, accurate communication, often best achieved initially by utilising a company specifically offering a bespoke translation for business or similar service. Thus any language barrier, which can scupper even the best of business ideas and plans, can be readily overcome.
Naturally, there’s an assumption or two being made here – that in the first instance there is a real market for the product or service being pushed overseas and not an imaginary one; the business plan is a sound one covering all of the usual bases and more; and that there is enough financial clout behind the venture to allow it to establish itself beyond the first two to three years.
Enter the UK government
All else being equal, the first port of call for any entrepreneur or small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) looking to do any form of business abroad must be the government. The government’s business face takes the form of the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) department, an open door to a raft of valuable services and top-notch advice delivered by experts in the field of international trade. So if you’re looking for up-to-date and reliable business intelligence, you’ve just found it.
You need a passport to export?
No, but you simply have to take advantage of the UKTI’s invaluable Passport to Export service, squarely aimed at the SME and a service which doesn’t cost the potential exporter a single penny either. So what’s not to like? After signing up, the new or inexperienced exporter gets unqualified access to training, planning and support to help kick-start their overseas venture. It’s a great way, too, to find out the availability and usefulness of translation services in the UK. So that neatly takes care of the second concern.
So what exactly are the benefits?
First and foremost, signing up to the Passport to Export service will save any SME valuable time and therefore a heck of a lot of money. It’ll also quickly sort out any woolly thinking and firm up the initial idea or plan into a rock-solid, coherent strategy. And the service will not only direct the would-be exporter to potential markets, it’ll also help get them there in order to see what the conditions on the ground are actually like.
The Passport to Export service is delivered by the UKTI’s regional international trade teams and is a highly flexible program of support. And it lasts for a full year, too. Included in the program is a detailed assessment of the SME’s readiness to export; the building of an export action plan; workshops on exporting; market research and visits to target markets; networking at events and trade shows; and, of course, all the help and guidance you could ever hope for from real experts in international trade.
With such incredible support available within the UK, what are you waiting for? Check out the UKTI website here.