A poll of 3,000 businesses has found that those who were trading in 2021 have a “low” rather than a “high” knowledge of how to export.
Now an international trade body has called for action after it was revealed that many companies have lost the essential skills in how to sell their goods overseas.
The survey was undertaken by the Department for International Trade.
More support needed for exporters
Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade, Marco Forgione, said the findings provided evidence that more support needs to be given to the UK exporter community to equip it with the right expertise to trade internationally.
The survey showed that under a third (30 per cent) of those questioned said they had a lack of export knowledge compared to under a quarter (23 per cent) in 2019.
Forty-one per cent of goods exporters said a decline in sales in 2021 compared to just 28 per cent in 2020. A third of services exporters also reported a fall, compared to 23 per cent the year before.
Mr Forgione added: “We know British businesses have an appetite for knowledge regarding international trade, as proved in March when we launched the International Trade Accelerator Voucher scheme.
“We will continue to champion the opportunities of international trade as a force for good and to help upskill the British business community in the process.”
From 1 January 2022, exports between Great Britain and the EU became subject to full EU custom controls.
This means that traders must submit declarations on all goods that they export and that everything must be presented to customs.
When thinking of exporting, SmallBusiness.co.uk has published post-Brexit guidance and advises:
- Conduct research into whether your competitors in the UK are already exporting, as well as who your local competitors would be in new markets.
- Assess whether your exporting objectives are clear and measurable.
- Investigate whether the demand for your product exists abroad.
- Evaluate if your company has the financial resources for additional market development and additional human resource to satisfy an increase in product demand.
- Consider the standard practices in the countries you are exporting to and the current marketplace – getting local knowledge will be invaluable when you come to launching your products internationally.
Need help and advice on international trade matters? Contact our team today.