This is the second of two articles prompted by Prime Minister David Cameron's LinkedIn request for business input - on how Britain could become more successful at exporting (Part A here)
Part B. Encourage small businesses to partner and provide a more comprehensive service
A very effective route, especially for SMEs or microbusinesses, is to work in partnership on projects.
If you wish to enter an overseas market with a particular product, look for partners who have products or services that, together with yours, enhance the offer you can provide.
Example 1. Overseas assistance:
I provide assistance for overseas companies wishing to find contacts and markets in the UK. My company's (Milton Contact Ltd) strengths are communication - helping companies adapt their product information, accompanying on visits and acting as a Peer to Peer advisor on their behalf.
I partner with another business (Europartnerships) that has long established contacts abroad and is effective at the project proposal and business generation side in a range of countries. In turn, together we co-opt partners who can help with: client acquisition in the overseas location; Market research; Finding contacts; Arranging appointments for our clients.
By working together, we provide a breadth of service and skills that can tackle larger projects. Being modular also means that we can be as small or large as we wish.
Example 2. Web based English language tutoring site for professionals
I'm currently part of a UK collaboration that includes a web designer and Legal English Language Experts - aiming to launch an internet based language tutoring site for international business people in 2012.
Examples 3. German businesses coming to UK
My clients are adopting this strategy too - see previous reports:
Entering a new market requires persistence
Historic buildings and future-proofing the skills to restore them: DE and GB experts meet in London
Collaboration between SMEs or microbusinesses - a strong tool to enable a larger, sound business presence internationally.