Exporting is great so let’s really go for it

Dave Muller speaking at the Ipswich Vision networking event hosted by the Greater Ipswich Chamber of

Dave Muller speaking at the Ipswich Vision networking event hosted by the Greater Ipswich Chamber of Commerce. - Credit: Archant

Town Topics with Greater Ipswich Chamber of Commerce

As the country starts to reposition itself in readiness for a post-Brexit future, one thing is certain - international trade will be at the centre of our economic prosperity as never before.

With new Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement of Dr. Liam Fox as the country’s first Secretary of State for International Trade, the intentions of the new administration could not be clearer.

For a number of years, the Government has been stepping up its support for exporters through its “Exporting is Great” campaign aimed at increasing the amount of goods and services British firms sell abroad.

I’m very optimistic about our economy’s potential for increased outward trade with other countries. Our basic proposition is a good one; based on high-value, high-quality offerings, whether those be physical goods or intangible services.

Among the membership of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Greater Ipswich, I can think of dozens of businesses which have the potential to be world-beaters.

David Redhead of Chamber member BSP International Foundations Ltd, manufacturers of construction equipment, has spent his professional career building up international markets in no less than 89 countries since his first visit abroad in 1973.

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David tells me a successful international sales efforts needs two things. Firstly, individuals with a certain mentality who can grab a briefcase, get on a plane and compete on their own.

It’s something that can’t be taught on any training course.

Secondly, the hierarchy in an organisation needs to be supportive over the longer-term. This means recognising that sometimes landing deals abroad can take months, if not years. This means they have to back their people and not quibble over travel plans and expenses.

But David’s basic advice is once a company has done their homework (with help from Suffolk Chamber of commerce) and has committed to exporting to just get on with it!

Suffolk Chamber International (SCI), the export-focused section of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, has recently geared up to help businesses looking to export for the first time or those seeking to increase their overseas trade.

SCI has launched a free web-based Export Readiness Assessment Tool and is offering Expert Readiness Follow-up Sessions for companies needing more detailed guidance about breaking into new overseas markets.

The Export Readiness Assessment Tool provides a quick, easy-to-understand, basic assessment as to how well prepared a company is in exporting its goods and services. It also provides helpful prompts for some of the issues businesses need to consider as they start to plan their entry into overseas markets.

Once a company has received the results of its assessment, Suffolk Chamber International can offer a half-day Export Readiness Follow-up Session to review the results and give them a structure to help them develop their export strategy.

Suffolk Chamber is also hosting an event on exporting to India on September 14t in Ipswich. For further detail go to the events channel on the new Chamber website: www.suffolkchamber.co.uk

Dave Muller