A new survey released last month revealed that a quarter of the UK’s SMEs are targeting expansion into foreign markets over the next 12 months. This is despite the UK’s exit from Europe.
The survey found that while the EU remains the favoured destination, businesses are not afraid to explore opportunities in North America and Asia.
However, the apparent confidence in going global, masks an underlying reluctance among many businesses to work and collaborate with local partners to help them achieve goals. Just 13% say they plan to work with local partners, which may reduce some opportunities which could be mutually beneficial. Potential competition and concerns over data sharing were found to be the biggest barriers for businesses when it came to working with outside organisations.
While a quarter of SMEs are pursuing expansion abroad, the majority (52%) of those surveyed are looking closer to home in the UK. The survey by CitySprint Group shows that the majority of SME businesses in the UK remain ambitious and optimistic about the future. Expansion, however, is not without risk and a careful assessment of how a business will cope financially with expansion may be necessary to avoid some of the potential pitfalls.