UK firms 'intent on overseas expansion'

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UK expands to overseas markets

British SMEs based in the manufacturing sector are leading the way for breaking into overseas markets, according to a study by Albion Ventures.

The report showed that 34 per cent of SMEs are looking into overseas expansion with 19 per cent of those looking even further past the eurozone market.

Around 30 per cent of British SMEs are focusing on working within domestic markets, while 15 per cent of small businesses are planning product and online service growth.

London-based SMEs are recorded as the most likely to move into new markets with 66 per cent of companies planning to do so. Other regional areas that are expecting to enter new markets include 62 per cent of SMEs in the south-west.

In Scotland and the north-east 59 per cent of SMEs are hoping to expand, meanwhile 50 per cent of small businesses in Wales are looking to move into new overseas markets.

Another report from Albion Ventures highlighted that medium-sized businesses are most interested in overseas expansion, with figures reflecting a 77 per cent majority.

With regards to sectors, 75 per cent of manufacturing firms are forward-planning a move into overseas markets.

Other markets expecting to enter into new markets include business in media, marketing and advertising and IT/telecoms registered at 68 per cent and 56 per cent respectively.

While some businesses are planning their expansion, other companies have already done so and advise that those who intend to expand move with caution.

Difficulties have arisen for 52 per cent of those companies who have expanded into overseas markets despite their best efforts.

The most common problems companies have experienced include a lack of expertise, excessive red tape issues and unexpectedly strong market competition.

Speaking on the difficulties firms have had, managing director at Albion Ventures Patrick Reeve, said: "Breaking into new markets is easier said than done and all too often small firms lack the necessary expertise to overcome established competitors."