UK’s small businesses missing out on international sales, says Royal Mail
Six out of ten UK small businesses are not exporting abroad and are therefore missing out on potential revenue, according to new research from Royal Mail. The Royal Mail research found that, for 26% of small businesses, the perceived cost and complexity of getting through customs is the main obstacle to exporting – even though many international orders from outside the EU fall below the minimum price threshold at which customs duties are chargeable.
Other reasons given by small business owners for avoiding exporting were a lack of knowledge of the market (21%) and language barriers (21%).
Royal Mail’s research also showed that those who are not selling overseas are missing out. Among the 40% of businesses who sell internationally, just over a quarter of their sales this Christmas (26%) are expected to come from international orders.
Roger Morris, Head of Royal Mail Parcels said: “Getting started as an exporter can be daunting. We have taken significant steps to help businesses looking to start exporting, from in-depth research into international markets, to enhancements to our international products. We believe that international is just another postcode. We work with businesses to establish reliable value for money services.”
The study of 300 senior decision makers and small business owners was conducted by Royal Mail to assess small business owners’ attitudes to international growth – and its released has coincided with the UK’s Small Business Advice Week (5th – 11th September).