Thanks to global e-commerce, there have never been so many opportunities available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, there are also challenges in the global market. Reports show that though exports provide an average of GBP £287,000 (the equivalent of about $25,000) in extra revenue to UK businesses, SME owners who haven’t exported to a new market still don’t know where to start.
SME owners are experts when it comes to local customers, but are less knowledgeable about finding new markets and everything that entails: culture, buying trends, export legalities, and payment options for their product in other countries. This is a key problem; our 2017 consumer survey shows that UK SMEs cite international marketing and operational barriers as the biggest barriers to success abroad.
Today, we’re announcing Market Finder, a new tool that helps businesses identify new customers, plan for success, and grow their export sales online. It also offers freely available guides, videos, and tips—making it as easy as possible for businesses to take the first steps into the export market.
Step 1: Finding the best markets for your business: Once you enter your website into the Market Finder tool, it will suggest which export markets are best for your product or service. It shows the number of monthly Google searches for your product as well as a potential market’s gross domestic product. Market Finder analyzes consumer internet use, demographics and disposable income, giving clear indicators and valuable insights into a market’s growth potential.
Step 2: Preparing your business for a global market: Market Finder sets you up for international success by getting you export-ready. Extensive localization tools, guides and tips show how to communicate effectively to a new market, whether it’s language, customs or preferred payment methods. Logistics resources outline the rules of international delivery and transportation for your chosen market. Payment guides explore the many payment options available globally—and pinpoint which ones are best for each market.
Step 3: Getting your business in front of customers: Market Finder provides training resources on digital marketing to ensure that users looking for your business can find it. For instance, it shows how to create AdWords campaigns that are effective and geared to your chosen market through a series of accessible case studies, guides and videos.
Market Finder was launched at a Google event today, where Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade Policy, representatives from the London School of Economics, the UK Federation of Small Businesses,and Google discussed how Market Finder facilitates exporting products and services to new regions for small businesses.
Greg Hands emphasized the importance of digital technology in reaching global customers: “Today, 3.7 billion people are online around the globe, so every business, no matter how small, should be going digital to reach new customers around the world. The new Market Finder tool is just one part of the huge range of support we offer as an international economic department, so British companies can seize on exporting opportunities and make the UK a global trading nation.”
Chris McDonald Enterprise and Innovation Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, spoke about the need for a stronger focus on exports in the UK: "Digital innovation is blurring the distinction between goods and services. By fully exploiting new digital technologies such as Google’s Markets Finder, more small firms can compete effectively in the global market, with no business too small to export."