It’s a good time to boost your export strategy

It’s a good time to boost your export strategy

This is the message from John Courtney who says SMEs should consider the benefits of the UK Government’s DIT Internationalisation Fund.

The globalised world we live in seems to be changing by the minute. This, of course, affects business ‘ in particular exports. Exports are crucial to the prosperity of many UK SMEs. More than one-fifth of these companies generate over 50% of their revenue through exports. 

These changing times have brought new opportunities and your SME could take advantage and expand into exportation. In this article I will give you advice on how to boost your SME’s export strategy and specifically through the DIT Internationalisation Fund (DIT). This will be a quick-fire tour of the fund but you can find out more by clicking here: DIT Internationalisation Fund (UK): A Guide For SMEs

Simply put, it is a grant scheme set up by the Department of International Trade to essentially help SMEs achieve global success. The aim is to create opportunities for your SME in the international market. It’s an initiative that works for both the Government and your company. By trading globally, your SME will boost the UK economy both locally and internationally. 

The existence of the fund might be more pertinent now than ever, as we move out of the pandemic’s business restrictions. The Government has sought to help SMEs which have suffered during the pandemic, by encouraging them to expand overseas. Through this co-investment, your SME could receive funding of between £1k and 9k.

The fund is available for both SMEs looking to export and those who already are. If you are already trading internationally, you need to make this clear in your application, explaining how your company will use these funds to expand into something new. This could be an expansion into a new geographical market or perhaps you have created a new product or service that you wish to sell within an existing market. 

The fund supports SMEs which are already operating in international markets and who are deemed to have high growth potential. The DIT fund can help SMEs looking to firm up their grip around some international markets while expanding into others. If you’re targeting £500k or more, in annual sales and turnover, then you can apply for the fund to realise your revenue goals. The same applies to smaller companies which may be targeting smaller amounts.

You can use the funds for expenditure on trade missions, assessing finance, sales, market research and consultancy. It’s also worth discussing things which you can’t use the funds for. These include transport and logistics, salaries, or sectors such as tobacco and fisheries. To read the full list of ineligible activities click on the link at the beginning of this article. 

So how do you apply for the DIT Internationalisation Fund? First, you just have to contact the DIT’s regional network, and from there you will discuss your plans with an advisor. Following these discussions, you will agree upon an export plan for your SME. The advisor will assess whether the fund is suitable for your business and will then contact you to talk about further steps.

If you are not confident about your level of expertise, with regards to exportation, then you can always consider working with an export director on a part-time basis. This will help you to create a strategic export plan for your company and it will also benefit your application for the fund. 

To sum it up, DIT Internationalisation is an opportunity for your company to expand into international markets through exports. And there is no better time to seize the potential by taking advantage of this ever-changing globalised world.

John Courtney
John Courtney

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