KPMG has launched a guide and online export assessment tool for businesses considering overseas opportunities to boost sales, as the UK defines a new trading regime as part of Brexit plans.
Outside of financial services, currently only 6% of companies based in Scotland export, meaning many miss out on potentially millions in revenue, according to a report by World First.
KPMG’s ‘going global’ guide comes as research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) recently found the UK ranked in the top five spots for the level of absolute exports.
Neal Allen, director at KPMG in Scotland, said: “Having an overseas strategy makes sense for any business looking to grow but is particularly important for SMEs that function with very tight profit margins. Many of those, particularly in Scotland, are often, or wholly reliant on their domestic marketplace.
“As our departure from the EU gets closer, and with the weak pound proving attractive to overseas buyers, now is the time to reach out to new customers and suppliers further afield. Almost half of UK exports in goods and services went to the EU last year so any increases on duties could impact tight margins making it sensible to start exploring the other options now.
“Many companies we work with have a product or a service they believe is suitable for export, but see a number perceived barriers and pitfalls which prevent them from making the most out of exporting opportunities.
“Whilst ‘going global’ can be a complex task with ﬁnancial, tax, legal and cultural implications to consider, exporting can also enable a business to diversify its income streams and supply chain, therefore mitigating against market risk. By 2020 China, USA, India, Japan and Brazil are expected to be the leading nations by GDP and UK businesses should be forging links with these countries to get their share of the golden opportunities on offer.”
KPMG’s online export assessment tool has been designed to help business understand how ready they may be or what they need to focus on in order to progress their overseas ambitions.
Commenting on the going global guide, secretary of state for international trade Dr Liam Fox, said: “UK exports are growing from strength to strength, but there’s huge potential for more businesses to target overseas markets and meet the global demand for UK goods and services.
“The dynamic and experienced team at my international economic department are helping more businesses that want to export, and we are proud to work with KPMG to ensure UK SMEs can access the support they need to expand and succeed abroad.”