John Carroll - Trading internationally has become even more important - SantanderCB

The one thing you should focus on to grow your business

John Carroll -
Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK

I believe 2016 is a key year for British businesses and exporting: trading internationally has become even more important to the national business narrative, as evidenced by the Government’s target to grow UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020. 

Our analysis shows some strong growth in the number of British firms that export.  

I’m pleased to see that recent ONS data has revealed that exporting by UK firms is up 5% overall. Growth has been strong across the UK; Wales has seen fantastic growth in the data period of 2012-2014 of 32%, whilst Yorkshire and the Humber, Scotland, East Midlands and the North West have all seen double-digit growth. 

However, it is vital that more firms look to start or expand their presence overseas, to act as a primary driver of growth.

We understand that it’s not easy and requires perseverance. We’ve interviewed hundreds of CEOs of SMEs to ask them what is holding them back from exporting or exporting more. We wanted to know what support businesses need to increase the number of UK firms exporting and to encourage those already exporting to explore new markets. We launched a report of our findings at the House of Commons last week, and you can read our recommendations here. 

The good news is that we are seeing strong demand among our clients for information and support, and we’re well placed to support businesses at each stage of creating, executing and managing international trade. We have sector and market specialists to provide on the ground support across all regions of the UK, as well as overseas, including Europe, the Americas, China, North Africa and Southeast Asia. Whether it’s taking those first steps overseas or expanding existing international operations into a new market, exporting can be daunting, but our UK and overseas relationship and international solutions teams are here to provide the connectivity and expertise needed to enable ambitious businesses to make the most of the incredible benefits that exporting can bring.

 It is clear that there are significant opportunities globally for UK businesses across a range of markets, not just those which are close to home either geographically or culturally. If you’ve not yet grasped the export opportunity, what are you waiting for?

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John Carroll - Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK