The majority of UK small businesses (60%) are not exporting abroad, potentially missing out on millions of pounds in lost revenue according to new research from Royal Mail. The research released as part of Small Business Advice Week, lists key reasons for this, including the perceived cost and complexity of getting through customs (26%), a lack of knowledge of the market (21%) and language barriers (21%). The scale of the potential missed revenue is illustrated by the fact that among small businesses who sell internationally, just over a quarter of their sales (26%) this Christmas are expected to come from international orders.
Thirty-five percent of small businesses believe Europe holds the most potential to generate new sales for their business, whilst 28% believe the US and North America are the most promising markets. Other reasons given by small business owners for avoiding exporting were a lack of knowledge of the market (21%) and language barriers (21%).But the research shows that those who are not selling overseas are missing out. Among the 40% of business who sell internationally, just over a quarter of their sales this Christmas (26%) are expected to come from.
A further look into the export aspirations of UK small business owners found that 10% are currently selling to customers within the EU and would like to seek more opportunities to sell to non-EU customers. Fifteen percent said they sell outside the EU and would like to seek even more opportunities to sell to non-EU customers. While domestic online marketplaces are popular among small business looking to grow their UK customer base, only 25 per cent of small businesses look to international marketplaces to grow their sales potentially missing out of the huge sales potential they offer.
Source: Royal Mail