DNA Chairman, Doug Jackson, prepares us for the export opportunities ahead now that the Brexit process is finally complete.
“Fog in The Channel – Continent cut off”
This is the title of the final chapter of my export guide book, Who Ordered The Battered Cod. It was first published in November 2018, right in the midst of the tortuous three year long Brexit process. Finally, our first major step into life outside the EU is taking place; our international strategy starts now.
This chapter title was in fact a fictitious Times headline that was actually coined by the Nazis as evidence of:
“the insufferable arrogance of the English, and the absurdity of a small island imagining itself so important that the Continent should be isolated from it.”
I ended my book with the following words:
“By the time you are reading this we could be back in the EU, outside it with a deal of some kind, or out on our ear without one. In any of these scenarios you can be sure that fit and well led UK businesses will continue to prosper, based as ever on a solid internationally faced business strategy.”
What Is Your Plan?
I still believe this continued prosperity can be the case. However, it is vital, right now, that businesses get moving with their international strategy. That may sound a bit grand and corporate to a small business with a few employees, or even to a mid- sized SME with 50 people. But exporting can start in quite a modest way. You just need a plan, and as I counsel in my book, you have to ensure that your business is ‘match fit’. That means your products, processes and people need to be as good as you can get them to be. Good leadership is also key – and that’s your job!
Forming a plan or strategy for exporting is the other keystone for a successful outcome. I talk in the book about market selection, channels to markets and understanding local cultures and customs. There is no substitute for hard graft, research and time spent on aircraft. But the effort is worth the result. There is clear evidence, published by the Department for International Trade, showing how businesses who export hugely out perform those who do not.
Time will tell if we are being ‘arrogant’ in our expectation that we can survive outside the EU. But, far from being cut off and isolated from Europe, foggy or not, it is in the power of individual businesses to make a success of exporting, to any country in the world. You just need to take that first step, and keep walking!
Want to know more?
Thinking of exporting? Contact DNA to take that first step with your international strategy.
Already exporting to Europe and beyond? Talk to DNA for effective insight and strategies as you plan your growth.