The jet lag has now subsided and we have had a few days to reflect on our recent business exploration to Australia. As a small business offering training, mentoring and coaching programmes to different groups and individuals, we are amongst a smaller number of businesses where exporting is higher on our expansion plans than growth within the UK and Australia is the latest place we have been researching.
Today the Chamber of Commerce has announced that UK exporting has slowed down and, as a small business that has been working on an export programme for the past 18 months, I can see why some businesses find it too challenging a task to take on. Cost and resource are two major barriers we have experienced and that is before we even begin trading and face the challenges of volatile exchange rates and cultural adaption.
We have been on the UKTI Passport to Export programme for the past 12 months, which has helped with establishing routes to market and potential areas for business. However, the majority of the work is down to you, and when it comes to making arrangements for meetings on the other side of the world, it was quite a task that we had to undertake.
During the fortnight in Australia we met with a range of businesses, visited a couple of events held by the local Chamber of Commerce, was special guest at a Business Women’s networking group, shared our Clarity4D profiling with a number of companies, and even managed to enjoy the local area of Townsville with a spot of camping and fishing!
And since returning we have continued our discussions with a number of contacts made and the likelihood of creating new partnerships and building some form of business feels very positive. However, we will still need to devote money and resource into the project for quite some time until any financial gain is achieved; this alone may be the very reason why exporting is not high on the agenda of so many small businesses.