Oi! UKTI - that's our objective!

Apr 09, 2014

This week is the UKTI's National Export Week which 'aims to help firms start selling abroad'. I was about to send a note to the UKTI reminding them that was, in fact, wnDirect's business and ask them not to take the credit when I realised it was actually their fourth year of doing this (and we have only been in business 2) and thought better of it!

Jesting aside I wholeheartedly support the UKTI's of helping increase trade abroad. From our own experience there is plenty of desire but it is often the hurdles and challenges which come with international expansion that puts people off or causes them to fail.

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome for many of the businesses we work with is adjusting the mindset that 'global' doesn't equal 'one market' and that the phrase 'one-size-fits-all' actually translates to something more like 'one-size-fits-nobody'. Such a flippant approach to global expansion is likely to result in nothing but failure. Consumers may desire things from 'faraway lands' but they still want them delivered and presented in a way that is familiar to them. With familiarity comes confidence.

Whilst we, at wnDirect, focus on the retail sector this can be applied to all manner of sectors. The learning for those wanting to sell their products or services abroad is that it is vital to understand the local culture. Easier said than done and requires a lot more than reading a few pages of Lonely Planet! Our way of tackling this is to work with on-the-ground, best-in-class partners but also allow our teams to immerse themselves in the local country.

Also, each country has its own import and export laws. I can assure you our customers choose to work with us for far more than this seemingly obvious statement but the reality is the laws governing cross-border transactions often appear to make no sense at all. Therefore your only defence is genuine knowledge.

Would you, for example, have known that it is illegal to import
  • canes and umbrellas into Brazil
  • wooden utensils to Peru,
  • games involving brown sugar into Iran
  • and ready-made clothes into Argentina.

I think even the most ardent of lateral thinkers would have had a hard time summoning up those answers.

So if the UKTI can give UK businesses a helping hand with their global expansion (just not retailers' we've got those covered thanks Mr Cameron!) then Export Week is something we very much support here at wnDirect.

wnDirect; we don't just deliver parcels' we help retailers achieve global expansion. Knowledge is, after all, everything.

Rules not many of us are likely to be familiar with! So it isn't just a case of knowing that individual countries have different rules...the reality is you have to understand them in detail and be prepared for them to change!

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