Exporting opportunities for small business - supports available

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Exporting opportunities for small business - supports available

 Every small business is interested in exporting?

Why?

  • Increased profitability, and sales. On average, businesses that export are more profitable than those who do not export
  • Diversifying risks selling to a wider geographical spread that lessens the impact from local downturns. The proverb ‘don’t keep your eggs in one basket’ is true here, as exporting allows your business to spread your risks across different markets – so if one market suffers from a recession, lowered demand or changed preferences – your investment, sales and profits won’t be as significantly impacted.
  • Economies of scale and lower production costs. Exporting allows you to take advantage of economies of scale, which refers to lowered average costs as a result of expanded operations, hence leading to increased productivity and efficiency. This usually works better if you have a ‘universal’ product or service that can be sold to most other parts of the world without significant modification.
  • Small firms can learn important new skills from exporting. Knowledge and skills are transferred from buyers and intermediaries to domestic firms when they start exporting. International trade thereby generates lasting productivity gains for SMEs that would otherwise not be realised
  • Increased Lifetime of Product or Service, can circumvent the standard lifecycle of a product (launch – growth – maturity – decline) by staggering the launch in different locations. So, as the product reaches maturity at home you can launch elsewhere.

Supports available

    1. On the island of Ireland, and between Ireland and Northern Ireland, Intertrade Ireland has a wide range of supports available mostly to indigenous micro businesses wishing to trade cross-border. This agency offers Trade Acceleration and Brexit advice vouchers.
    2. For micro businesses, less than 10 employees, the local enterprise offices based in each county offer a range of specific supports for exporting, LEO Dublin City is one. For example Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters’ grants will part-fund the cost that can be incurred in investigating and researching export markets, e.g. exhibiting at Trade Fairs, preparing marketing material and developing websites specifically targeting overseas markets, match funded grants of up to €2,500.
    3. For businesses with more than 10 employees, SMEs and LSEs, check out the export supports of the government development agency Enterprise Ireland. See the Export Assistance page,  which has a description of a range of supports.
    4. The Chambers of commerce like the  Dublin Chamber and also  the Irish Export Association are worth checking out.
    5. As is the European Enterprise Network, EEN. The Network is active in more than 60 countries worldwide It brings together 3,000 experts from more than 600 member organisations throughout the world, we are the largest support network for SMEs and combine international business expertise with local knowledge to help you take your innovation into new markets.
    6. Perhaps for less bureaucracy and to save time I recommend contacting independent business consultants and export advisers, some will be members of the IMCA, Institute of Management Consultants and Advisers.

 

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