Why are UK SMEs looking abroad for opportunities?

8 years ago

Why are UK SMEs looking abroad for opportunities?

Regardless to the outcome of the forthcoming EU referendum a developing amount of UK SMEs believe that trading internationally will be the key factor when it comes to their growth.

EE, the telecom server have recently published their research about SME international ambition. This exposed that 40% of small businesses are currently taking part in trading internationally, 6% believe that they will be a year into the new decade (2021).

The US and Western Europe are at the top of the list for UK SMEs – 55% of small firms revealed that they are interested in expanding over in the US and 82% are planning to trade with Western Europe (some already are).

Director of SME product marketing at BT, Lydia Hicks has said;

“UK SMEs show no signs of holding back on their international business ambitions, whether at home or abroad.”

The research also found where SMEs are looking to go in order to grow their business;

  • SMEs are looking at the Nordics in terms of their growth as it is the 3rd most popular growth market. 44% of SMEs are currently planning (if they aren’t already) to target the region.

  • After the Nordics, Asia and Eastern Europe are the next hot picks as 42% of UK SMEs say they are 4th and 5th on the growth market.

  • 33% of SMEs are heading towards Australia and New Zealand to expand their business opportunities.

  • 21% currently trade and plan to with South Africa whilst 22% would rather go to South America.

  • In terms of markets, SMEs are reluctant to visit North Africa as it is at the top of the list – just 15% of SMEs plan to trade there, eventually.

  • The sectors that are most likely to venture across seas are;

Manufacturing – 71%

Media & Marketing – 67%

IT & Telecoms – 43%

In addition, 40% of SMEs are currently trading across seas and 6% believe they will be during the next five years. Because many businesses are struggling within the UK to grow it is obvious that they must search internationally to find the best growth market for them. Just because one isn’t performing it doesn’t mean the rest won’t!