Research confirms that exporting companies are more productive than non exporters. They achieve stronger financial performance and are more likely to stay in business.
Doing business overseas can lead directly to growth, improvements in efficiency levels and ideas for new products and services. Once a company has started to export to a new market this tends to increase confidence and ambition, leading to further growth.
Recent surveys completed by the Department for International Trade (DIT) of UK exporters show:
85% said exporting led to a ‘level of growth not otherwise possible’
87% said exporting had significantly improved their profile or credibility
78% said exporting had given them exposure to new ideas
73% said exporting had increased the commercial lifespan of products or services
Common uncertainties explained:
“My product is too tailored to the NHS – it isn’t exportable”
This is usually not true – the NHS is obviously unique and doesn’t have an identical equivalent in any global market, however this doesn’t mean your product / service cannot be easily adapted for an overseas market. Many international healthcare systems bear similarities to the NHS, and evidence shows that the exposure to new ideas that comes from trading overseas actually leads to a significant improvement in your performance at home. The brand of the NHS is incredibly powerful overseas. Having a product, service or system used by the NHS can be a significant selling point in many markets around the world.
“We see enough opportunities in the UK to keep us growing – we don’t need international customers to achieve our targets”
The NHS budget for 2015/16 was £115.4bn. Global healthcare expenditure is forecast to reach $9.3tn by 2018. In an era of intense pressure on NHS budgets, international expansion offers a company the prospect of massive growth with markets around the world investing in developing their healthcare systems and expanding provision.
“We are too small to cope with international customers, we don’t have the resource”
The vast majority of medical technology companies, particularly SME’s, sell overseas through distribution and agent networks. Building and maintaining these relationships can require a time investment up front, however will quickly start to pay dividends with regular, sizeable orders coming through.
“We are a start-up company – building up sales in the UK is more important for us in the short-term”
It is never too early to start looking at international opportunities to develop your business. If you have an innovative / new technology then overseas customers will be eager to learn about your technology – international sales can increase your growth exponentially. This isn’t necessarily about immediately jumping into setting up overseas distributorships – you might be better off starting your research and planning overseas market entry in the first instance. When your UK sales have started to take off you can then “activate” your international plan and grow quickly.
The Medilink International Team will be happy to discuss the international possibilities for your business, and advise on the first steps to get you started. Contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org / 0114 232 9292.
Medilink provide support and services to UK companies looking to increase their international growth by attending world leading healthcare trade shows. Take a look at our International Exhibitions & Events Page to find out more.