Exporting is a great way to grow your business, increase profits and spread the risk of political and economic troubles in any one region. However, it can’t be denied that there are a number of challenges to consider when deciding to export, such as cultural differences, strong competition, finding and managing a local workforce and time-differences. And, of course, the language barrier. Luckily, there is a lot of support available both locally and nationally; good places to start are the Department of International Trade (DIT) and your local chamber of commerce.
Many of ABC Translations’ customers are successful exporters, whom we help with translations of manuals, marketing materials, websites and contracts. So, on the morning of 29 September 2017, we were delighted to exhibit at an event arranged jointly by the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, Sussex Chamber of Commerce and the DIT South East to showcase how they can help businesses export to the ASEAN countries (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.)
Held at the Hotel Du Vin, Brighton, the event included information on the support offered by the DIT, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and includes one-to-one access to a trade adviser, workshops and meet the buyer events, funding subsidies to take part in trade shows and oversees visits – whatever is best for your business. Rob Lewtas from the London and South East team of the DIT explained the vital role that market research plays, and how many of the DIT services are either free or subsidised (which is most!). They are a global presence, with over 1200 staff in more than 110 overseas markets, so the ideal first port of call when considering exporting.
Participants then heard from Matt Barton, Managing Director of 7thsense Design about how they have grown their business overseas. With some entertaining examples of how not to do it (perfect packaging delivered to Korea, unfortunately without the product inside), Matt explained the importance of understanding not only the language but also the culture of your overseas customers, as well as how essential it is to comply with the many regulations involved and to plan well in advance of delivery.