Royal Mail – UK small businesses could export more

Six out of ten UK small businesses could export abroad who are not, and are missing out on potential revenue according to research published by Royal Mail.

For 26% of small businesses perceived cost and complexity of getting through customs is the main obstacle to exporting. This is even though many international orders from outside the EU fall below the minimum price threshold at which customs duties are chargeable.

Other reasons given to Royal Mail by small business owners included a lack of knowledge of the market (21%) and language barriers (also, 21%).

The research by Royal Mail also showed that those who are not selling overseas are missing out on the benefits. For the 40% of UK businesses who sell internationally, it is reckoned that 26% of their sales are expected to come from international orders.

Roger Morris, Head of Royal Mail Parcels said: “Getting started as an exporter can be daunting.  We have taken significant steps to help businesses looking to start exporting, from in-depth research into international markets, to enhancements to our international products. We believe that international is just another postcode. We work with businesses to establish reliable value for money services.”

The study of 300 senior decision makers and small business owners was conducted by Royal Mail to assess small business owners’ attitudes to international growth – and its released has coincided with the UK’s Small Business Advice Week (5th – 11th September). Royal Mail is working with the government to promote exporting for UK small businesses, and this research is part of that commitment.