As a Catalyst UK Member, working with UK Trade & Investment to promote UK excellence, I get great opportunities to voice my opinions on the subject of export.

My mission is to encourage SMEs to stop dragging their feet when it comes to trading beyond UK.  Why do I think it’s so important for British companies to push to export early on? Let me explain…

I think many SMEs are missing a trick with the huge opportunities to export and that many simply lack the balls to grow beyond these shores.

Too few British companies have the ambition and gumption to take their companies international. For some it might simply be ignorance but more often it’s a fear of failure.

In many cases margins are better, the orders are bigger and the financial boost can help them improve their company stability at home.

Export companies attract better staff, have higher retention rates and show greater resilience in tough times. What is not to like about that?

Companies who export, improve skills sets of their teams to aid fast growth acceleration and I have seen huge cultural knock-on effects, not to mention the amazing experiences I’ve had building a company exporting to 75 countries by the age of 35.

A live example:

kitbirx photosI went to InterBike in Las Vegas in September, along with Kitbrix, one of my new investments, who chose an Expo in the desert over the Leisure Show in not too sunny Birmingham. A growth hungry guy, Robert Aldous, bit the bullet and invested the same amount of money in a show stand that he improvised to make portable so he could have a presence at this significant show. The result is that Robert Aldous, who barely had a sample less than 12 months ago has offers in a number of territories. He will be exporting his innovative, British designed, military inspired genius sports organizer system within the first year of product trading to seven countries around the globe with more in discussion.

Robert’s growth will be meteoric. He is likely to be taken more seriously by banks, he has larger shipment volumes and he is already being taken more seriously by promotional opportunities which he could not have financed had he not gained pro-forma, paid for orders for container loads of goods which are nearly on the water eight weeks after show time.  Take a look at his website kitbrix.com

Written by Lara Morgan
Lara Morgan is best known for growing Pacific Direct, from start-up to successful exit, 23 years later. She now invests her time in fast growth companies and represents UKTI as an Export Ambassador, having previously exported to 110 countries. Her vast experience and business knowledge includes specialisms in licensing luxury brands, manufacturing toiletries and selling to the hospitality environment through complex global distribution chains. She's also an expert in leadership and developing talent having learnt through her own experiences of employing 500 employees in an open fast growth sales culture.

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