I recently attended a business event where one of HSBC’s leading economists highlighted to the audience the significant role that exporting has to play in the economic recovery of UK Plc.
So I thought I’d return to this important subject in this column.
During the past 150 years, trade has fuelled economic growth and development around the world, widened choice for consumers and businesses, increased access to new markets, driven innovation and prompted development in new skills.
Modern communications and technologies have accelerated this pattern over the last 20 years and there has never been a better time to explore world markets.
In addition, research shows that companies with an international presence have been in a better position to weather the economic storm, as they are less dependent on one market.
With the emerging markets offering huge potential for overseas trade, they are also poised to access our existing markets.
So we know how important it is for the UK to take advantage of this myriad of opportunities and not lose out.
But for many budding exporters the prospect of developing an international platform, however modest the aspiration, can be daunting.
HSBC has unrivalled presence across the world, with 7,500 offices in 87 countries and territories across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa, and is therefore able to aid global business connections.
International trade is an integral part of the bank’s “DNA” and its global network allows businesses to take advantage of one banking relationship, in addition to expertise in everything you need to know about trading overseas.
Many businesses require lending to build international trade and a clear message from HSBC is that we are very much open for business and keen to lend to viable propositions.
Approaching a bank about funding should not create the same dread as a visit to the dentist, but it does need some time spent on preparing your business plan so you are better able to demonstrate the skills and business acumen banks are looking for before deciding to invest.
Banks need to see you have a good understanding of your business and your ability to run it and generate profits.
They’ll want to see that you have management expertise and knowledge of your marketplace and environment and, of course, they’ll look at your financial track record. So consider getting advice on your business plan or help from a mentor.
It’s worth having a conversation with us whatever your business aspirations, whether or not you are interested in trading abroad.
But if you are exploring the possibility of expanding overseas and just don’t know where to start, or if you are already doing, why not see what we can do to improve the way you do businesses?