Busting the myth’s on international exporting challenges for SMEs
International markets offer huge opportunities for UK businesses. Selling internationally is very complex but – as with most things – easy with help and appropriate training. LUX Assure, is an Edinburgh based on-site chemical monitoring company which has experienced first-hand both the challenges and benefits faced by an SME looking to expand globally.
Jenni Howe, Key Account Manager for LUX Assure, believes that although the process can be daunting the rewards are worth the investment. Here Jenni shares her personal experiences of exporting and the challenges LUX have successfully overcome.
Faced with exporting to a customer based in a country, which requires a 36-hour journey by plane, train and automobile can be stressful, especially if you are a small company with limited resources. However, there are several organisations to call upon that can aide you through the process, not least The Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber hold a wealth of anecdotal knowledge and can connect you with other small businesses and individuals, who have faced similar challenges and as a result have great insights to share with others. As well as providing support the Chamber also run a variety of events which aim to shed light on the complexities of exporting from documentation to International Commercial Terms (Incoterms). These events can be a great opportunity to share knowledge, engage with industry professionals and build key relationships.
Jenni Howe, Key Account Manager commented: “The Chamber of Commerce export focussed events and training courses are a fantastic way to not only gain a better grasp of the complexities of exporting from experts in the field, but they are also an opportunity to network with other businesses sharing lessons learned and best practice.
“The volume and complexity of documentation when you export goods internationally can be intimidating. As a business we have found the Chamber’s Export Documentation training course hugely beneficial to deconstruct the documents required. I have previously attended this session and a colleague will be attending the next course on the 24th May.”
In addition to the support from the Chamber, LUX have also found it invaluable to find and create a working relationship with a preferred freight forwarding company. Using this shipping method allows you to take advantage of their connections meaning they can usually resolve any problems quickly on your behalf.
The next barrier to success can be can be arranging visas. Working with specialists who can check over documents before submission can be hugely beneficial, giving you the confidence that the correct visa is being applied for, which can be extremely helpful when working to a tight deadline.
Throughout the process it is vital that both your internal and external customers are kept up to date with the challenges of logistics and the probability of success – keeping them in the loop will ensure each stakeholder is invested in the process and will hopefully assist where they can so that the goods have a greater chance of being received on time.
Finally, whilst it can seem like there are an endless number of hoops to jump through, watching it all come together is extremely rewarding. With the recent ‘Exporting is Great’ push, there are people queuing up to offer you information about exporting and we would whole heartedly recommend getting involved with events to share best practice and learn from industry experts. Exporting can be challenging but for LUX it has proved hugely beneficial allowing us to provide our on-site chemical monitoring and management solutions to the oil and gas industry on a global scale.
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