There’s a world of opportunity in today’s international marketplace. Small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) are no longer disadvantaged by size or economies of scale, and thanks especially to the huge increase in e-Commerce, international trade continues to open up many doors to SMEs all around the world.

It has broken-down barriers to make the world a smaller market within which to do business and, as a result, the reliance companies place in ‘e-tailing’ is ever-growing but needs to be managed and supported accordingly. In addition to the continuous rise in e-Commerce, the increase in use of mobile devices should not be forgotten. With the majority of the population owning smartphones and android devices, businesses have even more opportunity to influence and target consumers on a continuous basis.

Breaking into new markets

International trade is still one of the fastest growing areas of the world economy, coupled with the increasing desire for UK goods and services worldwide. Having a product that people want to buy is a fantastic start and if you are ready to take it to the next level, and want to export globally, there is a world of opportunities out there for small UK enterprises. With this appeal for UK products and services, SMEs now need to focus on another barrier to entry – transportation and actual delivery. It is an area that can prove challenging and even with the rise in e-Commerce and mobile activity, UK SMEs often require guidance, support and expertise to help them use these platforms to go global.

To tap into emerging markets, UK SMEs need to be smart in identifying new trading opportunities and quickly accessing these new markets. As they don’t often have the time or expertise to worry about infrastructure and the delivery of products, they need to work with a reliable express transportation provider who they can trust to help them with cross border trading, local customer service and ultimately deliver their products on time.

Connecting the world

For SMEs, connections give them the ability to access untapped markets and form lasting, profitable customer relationships – all fundamental aspects of maintaining and growing a business. Support is needed for first-time exporters as it is a minefield of information and customs laws, and is why logistics providers are invaluable in navigating the export landscape – helping SMEs’ bottom lines and rates of growth.

Logistics is about more than simply transporting goods from A to B. It’s a solution for getting the right thing, to the right place, at the right time – and in the process bringing real value to your supply chain. Logistics is about access; access to a solid integrated supply chain, access to new markets anywhere in the world, and access to new revenue streams. It’s about maximising your business’ potential in the complex global marketplace we live in.

Solution to international success

Practical knowledge is essential when getting started, especially when considering global expansion. The best advice for any business unsure of where to turn first is to speak to a logistics provider, who can tailor a solution to fit your needs. Whether it’s the physical movement of goods, monitoring inventories in different places or securing access to new locations, there is a whole host of information in play throughout the supply chain. It’s up to your provider to put this information at your fingertips, and to make sure you can see where your packages are at any time and how quickly your goods will reach their destination. All of this equips you to better manage your inventories as well as your business and ensure successful global integration.

The UK government is encouraging SME growth by bringing together in one place government financial support for small and mid-sized businesses. And since the government announced its pledge to double the country’s export value, with the aim of reaching the £1trillion mark by 2020, the UK’s export marketplace has seen significant growth.

The SME future is bright and thanks to the work done by the express transportation sector in connecting businesses worldwide, SMEs today have the ability to grow in ways not possible for generations of businesses in the past. Never before has global trade been so accessible to SMEs. The fact that you have communications technologies at your fingertips allows you to focus on your core business, conquer new markets and build a higher level of compliance. So now get out there and get involved: there are many opportunities just waiting for you!

By David Poole, Managing Director Sales UK South, FedEx Express