Planning to expand your business overseas?

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There are unprecedented opportunities for SMEs to grow in today’s globalised world. And Britain’s small firms are being encouraged to widen their outlook to achieve their growth ambitions, as our relationship with the EU evolves. 

For London’s SME community, international expansion offers many benefits: from expanding the market for their products and services, to driving economies of scale and reducing costs. 

But it also presents unique risks. “You must go in with your eyes wide open,” cautions Kevin Smith, Chairman of KPMG’s London Region and a specialist in international trade. “And importantly, as a business you need to know which route to market you plan to take before plunging head first. Without careful planning using local expertise, there are many unexpected pitfalls to catch the unwary and opportunities that could easily be missed.”

“Businesses need to go through a comprehensive due diligence exercise before setting up an overseas operation,” advises Arbinder Chatwal, Head of India Advisory Services at BDO, one of London & Partners’ delivery partners.

Routes to Market, a new comprehensive report by London & Partners in association with the Mayor’s International Business Programme, looks at how SMEs can go about expanding into overseas markets, and examines some of the principle routes to entry and steps you need to consider.

  • Be realistic
  • Do your homework
  • Cost the exercise
  • Hone your proposition
  • Plan your venture
  • Think compliance
  • Use the support available

The report also looks at four routes into foreign markets typically taken by SMEs backed up with case studies:

  1. Sending your people abroad
  2. Hiring local talent
  3. Working with local partners
  4. Entering as part of a corporate supply chain

Click here to download the full report.

Routes to market report

The Mayor’s International Business Programme is looking for more scaled SMEs based in London to join their programme, designed so that the support and advice you receive will make the biggest impact on your journey to international business success.

To find out more about the programme and to meet the team, register here to attend their next event Routes to Market: International Expansion Strategies for London’s SMEs on Tuesday, September 12 at 4.30pm at London Bridge.

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