By Paul Smith, Head of Trade Finance at Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance

In a changing economy, carving out a new avenue of income is essential for small businesses to expand, and international marketplaces offer vast opportunities for firms to remain competitive and secure new contracts.

Despite this, small businesses can sometimes overlook the benefits that are associated with exporting. Trading internationally often means stepping into unfamiliar territories, and being able to turn to experienced advisors for support on understanding global regulations and working practices is essential to execute a successful overseas strategy.

The demand for quality British products continues to grow — indeed latest ONS figures show that exports grew to £24.5billion, which should serve to encourage businesses of the economic benefits that come with moving into the global marketplace.

A common stumbling block is the financing needed to fulfil exporting plans. Working with overseas customers can involve language barriers which can result in delayed payment times, but there are funding facilities available that can help businesses overcome these challenges.

A trade finance facility is a working capital function specifically designed for exporting companies, and ensures longer payment terms don’t impact a business’ day-to-day operations and ability to capitalise on future operations.

Whether a business is exporting to the Eurozone, or in the Far East or the Americas, trading internationally can lead to significant sales growth and the creation of new jobs. It is a key driver of economic growth that can help Britain prosper, and firms with ambitions to grow should consider talking to their advisors to see how they can make these benefits a reality for their business.