A new report suggests that businesses that export see a positive impact on their finances within just six months, and will grown on average by one third within two years.
The Barclays research, which involved 1,500 businesses in the UK, showed that 82% of respondents experienced a positive impact on their bottom line within 24 months of expanding overseas.
Clearly, increasing the amount of goods and services the country exports will be a key driver in the economic recovery. One third of businesses who sell overseas say they need to recruit extra staff in the UK to cope with expansion. Barclays estimate that over 330,000 people are employed in the UK as a result of exporting good and services overseas.
Many firms that already export are looking to expand their overseas markets in 2013 – and most are looking beyond Europe to new markets, including India, China, Hong Kong and Australia.
Many respondents also cited other benefits of exporting – including having greater confidence in the long-term health of the business, an overall increase in productivity, and more innovation.
Some of the other key findings from the Barclays report include:
54% were surprised at the level of growth they experienced as a result of expanding to international markets., with a mere 39% saying that the growth they experienced was as they had expected.
48% of exporting businesses experienced an increase in sales over the past two years, compared to 30% of businesses who remained focused solely on the UK market.
Unsurprisingly, 84% of firms say that exporting their goods and services is essential to the future growth of their companies.
Of those businesses who don’t export currently, 23% intend to do so within the next five years, and 21% remain undecided.