What export support is out there?

Many businesses we work with are typically all at different stages in their export journey, which is why we understand that organisations require tailored and specialist support to help them along the way. We’re here to help, whichever stage you’re at. In this blog post, we’re highlighting what support is available and how you can access it.

Getting started
Speaking to your local International Trade Adviser (ITA) will get things off the ground. With years of experience in international trade, your ITA will help you take a strategic look at your company. They’ll help you define your exporting objectives and plan how to get your products to market in a foreign country. Your ITA will give you access to various documents that will give you the fundamental knowledge required to understand international trade principles. To send an enquiry to an ITA, click here.

Making sense of international markets
Selling into a foreign country can seem daunting due to the differences in markets and business culture. Your ITA can guide you through the specifics of any given market and provide you with all the relevant information you’ll need.

To enhance your knowledge further you can attend our business culture workshops. The format of these workshops include sessions targeted at exploring the possibilities in specific foreign markets – a great way to learn more about the countries you want to do business with.

We regularly post new events on our page, so keep an eye out for any you may be interested in. For guides to exporting to specific countries, click here.

Export finance
Navigating the costs and risks associated with exporting can be difficult by yourself. Chatting to your ITA will give you the foundations needed to proceed properly when exporting. For financial support such as insurance and grants, UK Export Finance (UKEF) can help. They’re designed to specifically help British businesses with international trade and aim to make sure exporting is a success. UKEF can help with a number of things such as:

– insurance against non-payment
– access to capital to fulfil export orders
– helping exporters win new contracts

E-commerce and digital
There are lots of online marketplaces available to sell your products. Our E-exporting programme helps with:

– optimising your website for an international audience
– using online tools to gain market insight
– using social media with an international audience
– boosting your online presence
– finding the right e-commerce market
– learning how to drive traffic to your website

Increasing exports
In addition to ITA support, we can also put you in touch with sector-specialist advisers that offer guidance on areas such as:
– language and culture
– export finance
– digital trade & E-Commerce
– contracts and licences
– Overseas business networks

Now you know a bit more about the kinds of support available to you,Why not take the first step in exporting today? To send us an initial enquiry, if you want to be put in touch with a sector-specialist or have any questions, call us on 0345 222 0159 or email us on info@tradewm.co.uk.

Finding the right contacts when trading internationally isn’t always easy when you start exporting. Even if your products are ready to go and your export finances are in order, it’s equally as important to have the right people in place abroad to oversee the process. Having contacts on the ground should ensure the whole process runs smoothly and local knowledge can help increase your market opportunity.

Here at the DIT, we offer lots of support including specialised export advice and guidance on how to find the right contacts. In one of our previous blog posts, we looked at including agents or distributors in your export team. In this blog post, we’re looking at accessing the right people so you can network and find new export opportunities.

ITA support
One of the best sources of advice and support is your International Trade Adviser (ITA). They offer commercial advice and consultancy tailored to each individual business and its needs. ITAs are experts in their field and are reliable sources of export advice and information. An ITA can save you time, referring you to the right contacts to quickly expand your export potential.

One quick-fire way to meet new contacts is through events run by the DIT. Throughout the year we run various conferences, events and seminars where you can meet individuals or delegates from abroad who could be potential trade partners.

Our Meet the Buyers events are popular amongst exporters – they’re a chance to engage in 1:1 meetings with buyers from abroad who are interested in buying from UK companies. Our Meet the Experts events, which are run both online and in person, are for those looking for business advice about a specific market. These events are a chance to chat with sector specialists about how to do business in a specific country.

In addition to these events, we also schedule trade visits abroad. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), these visits are a great way to network with new contacts and conduct those all-important business meetings with potential buyers.

Take a look at our events page for details of upcoming events throughout the year.

Depending on the size of your business, we have a few ongoing programmes and projects that can help to elevate it. Enterprise Europe Network is designed to help SMEs in the Midlands find new international partnership opportunities. They’re also able to access free advice and new business opportunities. If you think this would help your business, apply now.

Another programme we run is Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. Perfect for those aiming to start or develop their own business, this programme is great for young entrepreneurs who want to learn from experts already working abroad.

And finally, the ERDF-funded SME International Growth Project is aimed at SMEs in the West Midlands looking to expand their exports. Through the project, businesses can apply for funding and receive free export advice, including access to networking events and conferences.

For more information on any of our programmes or events, call us on 0345 222 0159 or email on info@tradewm.co.uk.

There are lots of ways to export – not just the typical way of shipping a physical product abroad. In this blog post, we’re looking at three alternative ways to market your products internationally and get exporting.

Licensing agreement
These are agreements or contracts with a third party whereby you give them a licence to sell your products in a specific region or country. Licensing agreements are a great way to sell overseas as the licensee will pay the cost of manufacturing and marketing the product, in addition to an upfront licensing fee and royalties on each sale they make.

Licensing your product is a cost-effective way to get it to market quickly without having to sell it to consumers directly. However, when operating using a licensing agreement, you do need to ensure your product is fully designed, tested and suitable for consumer use in the specific market you are selling into. Choosing the right licensing partner is key to making sure your export journey goes smoothly.

As with many business contracts, it’s important to make sure you’ve sought legal help, especially when licensing your Intellectual Property (IP). Although costs can be significant, it should be a one-off charge that will protect your product from being stolen or modified. Legal advice will also help tackle potential problems such as your products being devalued, your IP being stolen and what happens once the licence expires. All of these issues should be taken into consideration when formulating your licensing agreement so problems don’t arise when exporting.

For more information on licensing agreements, take a look at this article.

Franchise agreement
Franchising is when you license a business model to a third party. For this to be successful, your brand should already be well-established and you should have a strong business model to accompany it .

The benefits of a franchise agreement include low setup costs and the ability to branch out into lots of new markets easily. Similar to a licensing agreement, you need to choose your franchise partner carefully, so that you select someone who will uphold the standards of your brand and product. The third party will pay fees and royalties to use the brand name, to manufacture the product and on any sales they make.

One of the issues that could arise is that it can be time-consuming to monitor how your franchises are running in different markets. As with a licensing agreement, you’ll need to seek legal advice so your business is protected.

To learn more about franchise agreements, read this article.

Joint venture agreement
This is when two or more companies join together to manage a project. Costs and payments are shared between companies. However, they remain two separate businesses throughout the process. When doing business with another company, especially one that’s registered abroad, you need to be mindful of the business culture differences and how they could affect your joint venture agreement.

Legal advice will help set out roles and responsibilities from the beginning so all businesses involved know what they need to do at any given time.

So now you know more about some of the different routes to market, why not get started with exporting today? To discuss your options, email us on info@tradewm.co.uk or call on 0345 222 0159.

In this article, we’re looking at ways to manage logistics effectively from start to finish when trading internationally. This can be anything from deciding whether to use a freight forwarder or making sure your employees receive the right training.

When exporting, planning the logistics is essential. With lots of regulations and paperwork involved, it’s important everything is accounted for so the process runs smoothly.

Get the right training
One of the most important things when exporting is that your employees receive training to behave appropriately, combat bribery and avoid corruption – which can be common when exchanging export contracts.

In some countries, it’s part of business culture to exchange gifts at meetings so it’s vital to learn the cultural expectations in different countries. Regular training keeps employees up-to-date on how to deal with difficult situations and spot and report acts of bribery. The Say No Toolkit from the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) guides employees to make the right decisions in tough situations.

Consider a freight forwarder
If you’re new to exporting or simply don’t have time to prepare the paperwork yourself, you could use a freight forwarder.

A freight forwarder is an individual or company who exports your products and services on your behalf. They take care of the whole process for you.

Freight forwarders prepare paperwork, negotiate freight rates, deal with customs and regulations and arrange transport of your goods. Using a freight forwarder is useful because they can save you money by negotiating effectively. You can find a freight forwarder on the BIFA website.

If you decide not to use one, make sure you do your research on the paperwork you’ll need beforehand. If you’re unsure, speak to your International Trade Adviser (ITA) who will help you plan ahead to avoid delays.

Use the right incoterms
When preparing contracts and documents, everything needs to be communicated clearly. Incoterms are internationally-recognised three-letter codes used in export documents that communicate the tasks, costs and risks associated with the transportation and delivery of goods in an international transaction.

There are lots of things to arrange with the buyer. Using the right incoterms means that regardless of language or cultural differences, you and the buyer will both know exactly what’s being communicated.

Prepare the paperwork
Missing paperwork can cause a deal to fall through, so it’s vital you have the right documents ready at the right time. Common forms of documentation include:

where your goods will be delivered

For more information, take a look at our guide on international trade paperwork.

Internationalise your website and IP protection
If you export online using e-commerce sites or your own website, it’s important to make sure it’s internationally-friendly.

This means adapting your website for an international audience i.e. taking into account different currencies you’ll need to include and shipping times. You can learn about exporting online at one of our Digital Series workshops.

Whether you’re selling online or physically shipping goods out internationally, your intellectual property (IP) will need protection. You can learn more about what IP is and how you can protect it in our ‘Intellectual property: what you need to know’ article.

Report violations
If you encounter any bribery or corruption, you should report it. There are procedures to follow to make sure it’s reported to the right people. Bribery with relation to UK companies can be reported to the Serious Fraud Office. If an act of bribery doesn’t relate to the UK, you can report it to the relevant authorities in other countries – it’s best to seek legal advice when doing so. You can also report from a list of prescribed bodies. Learn more about reporting in the Corporate self-reporting guide.

Now you know more about business planning, get started with international trade today. Your ITA will guide you through through the process. Contact us on 0345 222 0159 or email us on info@tradewm.co.uk to start your journey.

Intellectual Property (IP) is important when it comes to exporting. IP protection is vital to prevent your business ideas being stolen or your products being replicated without permission. In this article, we’re looking at all things IP and what it means with regards to international trade.

What is IP?
IP relates to creative pieces of work, ideas, products and inventions – anything that will typically need a trademark or copyright. IP protection makes sure the future of your business is safe by preventing someone from stealing or copying your idea. It’s needed because counterfeits of your products or stealing your brand name is highly damaging to your company and you could lose out on profits and business security.

Common types of IP protection
IP is everywhere in the world of business. You may think you haven’t come across it before but it appears in different forms such as:


What do the different types mean? The type of IP protection you’ll need will vary depending on what your business idea or product is.

This is protection on literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. It’s protection for creative works which means that someone else can’t steal or replicate them after you’ve created them. Copyright also applies to web content and databases. In some cases, copyright is granted automatically if your works are published or available in the UK only. You can do this by labelling your work with an author or creator name and making sure the copyright symbol (©) is included alongside your work. In international cases, automatic copyright doesn’t apply, which is why you need to ensure your work has been protected. To do this, you can contact the IPO Information Centre. Learn more by looking at our guide to protecting your copyright abroad.

Trademarks protect logos, brand names and sounds. You don’t have to register your brand name or logo as a trademark but it’s the best way to protect your brand identity and make sure no one steals your name or logo. As with copyright, trademarks are different abroad. To successfully protect your IP internationally, take a look at the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) guide to trademark protection abroad. It highlights that for each country you want to trade with, you can take out a trademark with the IP office in the respective countries.

A patent protects an invention or new idea. It’s usually a new invention that can be produced within an industry. With a patent, you can take legal action against anyone who produces, uses, imports or sells your product without your permission. When trading internationally, there are a few alternative ways to patent your invention. Read our guide to protecting your patent abroad to find out more.

With so many different types of works that exist and different types of IP, it can be difficult to see which category your IP falls into and which type of IP protection you’ll need. If you want to save time and hassle, why not hire an IP lawyer? They can make things simple for you, especially when it comes to IP protection in regards to international trade. Whilst IP protection will incur costs, it could help save your business big money in protecting lost revenue from copycats and counterfeiters. Learn more about international IP protection here. You can also use the IP Equip service to learn more about types of IP protection.

We have lots of International Trade Advisers ready to guide you through the whole exporting process and discuss IP. Get started on your international journey today by emailing on info@tradewm.co.uk or by calling on 0345 222 0159.

Cultural differences are a big part of exporting and vary from country to country. Researching the business culture of the country you want to trade with could be the difference between landing a successful deal or walking away empty handed. But it can be daunting to think about marketing your product to a new audience, with so many things to take into consideration. That’s why we’ve pulled together the business culture essentials you need to know to win over international buyers.

Language is one of the main cultural barriers to exporting
You need to be able to effectively communicate with buyers to win them over. Before a face-to-face or verbal meeting with a new client, do your research on who you’re meeting and on the company itself. Find out which language the buyer prefers to do business in and hire an interpreter if you’re not fluent. Working with an interpreter or translator means you won’t miss out on any key discussions during your meeting due to language barriers. Keep in mind that tender documents, as well as your website or product information, may also need translation.

Cultural factors to look out for
Before attending an overseas meeting, take into consideration greetings, body language and what to wear.

For example, in Chinese business etiquette, certain gestures convey different meanings, so it’s best to stay away from these. And in Ethiopia, it’s considered bad manners to start a business meeting without greetings and informal questions. Information about business etiquette in foreign markets can be found in our country-specific guides to exporting.

In some countries, such as Iran, gifts are exchanged as part of business meetings. This is seen as a tradition when visiting associates. And in Dubai, business cards should be two-sided – one side should be written in English and the other side in Arabic to show respect to buyers.

To find out more about differences in business etiquette abroad, our in house culture and communications adviser, Gerti Willis can help with tailored support and interactive workshops. You can contact her on gerti.willis@mobile.trade.gov.uk or call 0121 607 1942.

Researching the business etiquette of a country gives you a good idea of what to expect from a meeting and makes it easier to spot any potential warning signs. There are always risks with exporting abroad, but being able to identify them early on means you can avoid any difficulties.

A few things to look out for include:
– a politically exposed person (PEP) as they could be more prone to accepting bribery from others
– reluctance or refusal to sign written contracts from buyers
– buyers who are unwilling to follow legal export procedures

Want to know more about business culture and the impact of exporting? Begin your export plan today. For expert advice, email info@tradewm.co.uk or call us on 0345 222 0159.

A key part of selling your products and services overseas is winning over international buyers. In some cases, this is done through a face-to-face business pitch where you meet with potential buyers and negotiate a price. Business pitching for exporting differs from a standard pitch – for a start, there’s more to consider. Let’s take a look at the ways to pitch successfully and what to keep in mind when trading internationally.

Before any pitch, it’s important to know your prospective buyer. Do this through researching the company, finding out which sector it operates in and how similar businesses are performing in their various markets, financially speaking. This allows you to market your product to the buyer in a way that meets their needs. Often, business culture varies from country to country. Language, customs and values are can make business culture in foreign markets challenging. We regularly run country-specific Business Culture Workshops to educate UK exporters and overcome these differences.

Provide metrics
Paying attention to buyers’ needs means you can position your product or service as a solution for them. Another key aspect of winning over a buyer is establishing trust. Providing examples of metrics for past successes with other companies reassures buyers and gives them more confidence in your product. Presenting this information clearly and concisely helps to establish credibility. Demonstrating that consumers have bought your products in existing markets highlights the potential success in bringing it to a new group of consumers in foreign markets.

Know the facts
Practice makes perfect. Rehearsing your pitch means that you’ll be able to recall various facts and figures that will aid your presentation. If you have a slideshow or other visual elements, this aids a natural delivery. You don’t want to be reading from the screen, you want to be interacting with your buyer. Really knowing your product and projected outcomes emphasises your expertise and may help you secure the deal. Again, by practise pitching to friends and family, you can help preempt difficult questions that may arise and have a wider range of answers ready for the actual pitch.

Negotiation styles
First and foremost when negotiating the price with a buyer, you need to believe in the value of your product. Before you meet the buyer, set a price bracket that you’re willing to negotiate within. Sticking to the price range you have in mind will mean you won’t lose out on any revenue in the business deal. Really believing in what you’re selling means you’ll be able to confidently justify the price to buyers. Even if your product is more expensive than a competitor’s, a confident pitch highlighting what makes your product superior can win you the deal.

Focus on the product, not the price
Presenting the benefits of your product and how it meets buyers’ needs before negotiating price will help you get a better deal. Getting buyers to believe in your product and see it as a good investment will mean they’re willing to pay a higher price.

Buyers sometimes test your certainty in a product by asking for a much lower price than what it’s worth. This is a way of them testing your confidence in the product and sensitivity to price. In this scenario, as mentioned earlier, it’s best to stay within a predefined price negotiation bracket you’ve set. Likewise, negotiation is a two-way street. You can counter a lower price offer with a request for a higher volume of order. Although it’s important to be resilient, it’s also important to remember that if a buyer is asking for too great a compromise in any area, you can walk away from the deal. With economies around the world growing, there are many international markets that you can tap into.

For specialist advice, email us at info@tradewm.co.uk or call us on 0345 222 0159.

We always have lots of wonderful export opportunities available in a variety of sectors. Currently, there are over 23,000 export opportunities live across the globe. We’ve picked out some of the unusual opportunities that are open right now, so if any of these sound like a good fit for your business, start applying – they’re sure to bring in big profits.

Spain – Reagents for blood tests
Perfect for UK businesses in the science and medical industries, this export opportunity will be highly profitable. The Blood and Tissue Bank in Spain needs supplies of reagents for blood tests, specifically cell culture media and supplements. Can you help out? For more information on trading with Spain, read this guide.

Argentina – Photovoltaic solar energy
Argentina is seeking a UK project partner for a solar energy project. If your organisation specialises in renewable energy, this opportunity is waiting for you. The company is looking for a technology company with experience in photovoltaic solar energy. The firm will be required to provide a range of equipment supplies. Does this sound like you? Apply now. To learn more about international trade with Argentina, take a look at our helpful guide.

Costa Rica – Toys, puzzles and games
Toy blocks, chess sets and model cars are a few of the items needed by a company in Costa Rica. They’re looking for a UK supplier of these products and more, so if this opportunity jumps out at you, start applying now. Our guide to exporting to Costa Rica will help answer any questions along the way.

India – Cheddar cheese
A firm favourite in the UK, cheese is also in high demand in India. A distributor is looking for 12 tonnes of cheese made with microbial rennet. If this opportunity sounds like a good fit for your business, apply now. For an in-depth guide to exporting to India, click here.

USA – Electronic devices
Ideal for IT hardware suppliers, this opportunity to export to the USA will bring in lots of revenue for your company. A government agency based in the States needs a UK supplier of items such as earbuds, headphones and pocket radios. If that sounds like music to your ears, then learn more and apply here. Have some questions about trading with USA? Read our insightful guide.

Norway – Sacks and bags
This high-earning opportunity is waiting for a UK business. Norway wants a large supply of green and blue plastic bags for sorting food waste. If this opportunity sounds good to you, find out more and apply now. Learn more here about exporting to Norway.

If you like the look of these opportunities and want expert advice and guidance, get in touch with us today. We have a dedicated team of International Trade Advisers on hand to provide you with support and tips along your exporting journey. We also regularly run events focusing on the different aspects of exporting. Call us on 0345 222 0159 or email us at info@tradewm.co.uk to get started.

A business based near Rugby that makes, supplies and installs surveillance and security equipment – including covert devices – has grown its global market share after receiving a decade’s worth of support.

Pace Systems, which is based in Thurlaston, provides everything from technology to training in the field of security and surveillance and has expanded into offering technical surveillance counter measure inspections (TSCMI), or bug sweeping, for clients.
The company was established in 2001 and, over the past ten years, has been supported by the International Trade Hub at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce with its export market.

Pace now works around the globe including across Europe, the Far East, Middle East and South East Asia.

The company has recently enjoyed significant business wins in South America for its TSCMI sweeps and it is a market that continues to grow with major corporations and states as well as high net worth individuals.

Robert Dyer, of Pace Systems, said: “Our international markets are growing all the time. Obviously, because of the nature of what we do, we have to be careful about saying exactly who we work for and where we operate but we are active in countries right across the globe.

“We are renowned for our exceptional design and engineering expertise in the security and surveillance market and have been since our foundation in 2001.
“On the back of that, we have developed the TSCMI side of the business to help us to diversify and grow. It basically offers a wide range of clients – from individuals to multi-national companies – products and services that can protect them from industrial espionage threats.

“We’ve worked in offices, boardrooms, private homes and even super yachts on behalf of clients who have concerns that they are the subject of espionage. We work comprehensively and confidentially and clients appreciate our high levels of professionalism.

“Working with the Chamber has helped us to grow our overseas markets, including utilising the contacts of the Department for International Trade all around the world to help us to grow in those places.

“We would encourage other businesses in the area to make the most of that help.”

Parminder Hayer, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Team, said it was vital that businesses in all sectors looked to broaden their horizons.

He said: “Pace Systems is a very interesting company in an exciting field that is growing significantly.

“The firm has worked with us here at the Chamber for ten years and have developed a strong presence around the world. That is expanding even further with its new range of products and services.

“It’s a great example to other companies across this region of how to grow a business through overseas trade – something that is becoming more and more important – and how it’s important to access support with that.”

Based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, PomPom Galore Ltd was launched by Marisa Harrison and Kat Bright in 2014. They specialise in decorative pom pom accessories such as garlands, hair accessories, fairy lights and stationery – all traditionally hand crafted using high quality wool yarn…

The challenge
Its pom pom products are stocked in retail outlets across the UK, and Kat and Marisa have also attracted the attention of overseas buyers at UK trade shows. However, they wanted to put in place a more strategic approach to their overseas sales and turned to DIT for help. In particular, the company wanted to exhibit at showUP in Amsterdam – a two-day trade homeware/ gift and interior accessories fair that showcases young design talent alongside established, international brands.

How DIT helped
The international trade adviser (ITA) it was working with suggested ERDF funding and after supporting the application, PomPom Galore received £1118, which paid for half of its costs in attending the exhibition, flights and hotel accommodation.
It also received guidance on exhibiting, which helped Marisa and Kat make the most of their time at the fair and boost their confidence about exploring new markets.

The result
At showUP, PomPom Galore introduced itself to a number of important contacts across Europe. Since then, it has achieved additional sales of £5000 from more than six countries, with the largest orders coming from Ireland and France. Its turnover has already increased, which has enabled it to employ an extra member of staff in the operations department, and orders worth tens of thousands of pounds over the next four years are anticipated.

“Securing the ERDF funding enabled us to attend showUP, which was a really important, niche trade show for us, but for which we didn’t have the working capital to justify it,” said Marisa. “Since returning, we have quickly increased our European stockists and customers and we have already seen an increase in turnover as a direct result. We wouldn’t have been able to do this quite as quickly had we not had the funding. We would advise any business to see if they are eligible for an ERDF grant because it could be the catalyst for growth.”

Want to find out how we can support your business?

We have an experienced team of International Trade Advisers ready to help you become a global success story, get in touch today.
E: info@tradewm.co.uk
T: 0345 222 0159