It can't be ignored that global expansion offers huge opportunities for increased reach, profitability and success.
The problem, however, is that succeeding in new international markets is no easy feat.
In fact, with online sellers needing to consider everything from foreign exchange, VAT thresholds and international pricing, right through to order fulfilment, cultural differences and consumer expectations in each market, it can't be easily achieved without the right support.
So, what support and resources are available to help you succeed with your global expansion strategy?
Below, we have compiled an extensive list of key organisations that can provide support, funding and grants, export programmes and global expansion tools and resources.
Key Organisations & Memberships for International Trade
First things first, it's worth noting the key organisations available to support you with international growth.
The Department for International Trade
The Department for International Trade (DIT), formerly known as the UKTI, is a government run organisation that is responsible for promoting British trade across the globe.
In addition to offering free advice, tools and guidance, they also operate several programmes, specifically designed to support UK businesses with international trade.
Some of these programmes offer grants or help with funding, which is something to keep in mind going forwards.
Ultimately, the best way to learn how you can benefit from the Department for International Trade’s support is by contacting a trade advisor in your region.
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
The FSB is a membership organisation that serves to help small businesses expand both domestically and internationally, by providing advice, financial expertise and support.
Institute of Export (IOE)
The Institute of Export is a professional membership body that represents and supports those involved in importing, exporting and international trade.
Open to Export
Open to Export is another government and business backed community that helps UK businesses get ready to sell overseas. You will need to create a free account to start benefiting from their free resources.
Global Export Programmes
The E-Exporting Programme is suitable for sellers at all levels, entitling you to a free meeting with an international trade expert from your local DIT office, along with full support with developing and implementing an global eCommerce strategy.
That's not all though.
They will also provide you with help getting set up on international marketplaces, as well as access to better than commercial rates for listing on some of these sites.
The Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) is available to businesses at any stage of their exporting journey and ultimately serves to help you identify opportunities and set up your business in new markets.
The Tradeshow Access Programme provides funding for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows, with the purpose of helping your business gain market knowledge, experience and advice from trade experts.
Global Expansion Exporting Tools
Another resource worth investigating is the DIT’s Export Opportunities page, which gives you access to some of the key opportunities available to you in different countries.
You can filter this search by keywords, sector, market and opportunity type, and even sign up for alerts when a new opportunity is made available.
The Open to Export Action Plan is a free online planning tool to help you plan your export strategy.
This is a free service to help you identify some of the major international online marketplaces, and further understand whether they are a good fit for your business.
If you would like to get an idea of some other international marketplaces available to you, take a look at our complete list here.
Resources for global expansion
Below, you will find a selection of resources designed to help you grow your business overseas:
International Trade Training Courses
Foreign Exchange Resources
Tax & VAT Resources
International Shipping Resources
International Returns Resources
Additional Global Expansion Resources
Have we missed anything?
We’d love to continue building on this list to provide sellers with valuable resources that will help them with their international expansion, so if you’ve had experience with another organisation or provider, drop us a comment below.