In our buildup to Going Global Live this November, we talk to some of this year’s keynote speakers about the areas of exporting they will be presenting on at the show. We have access to limited free tickets for the event, so make sure you don’t miss out and register for yours by clicking here.
The London Olympia will host once again Going Global Live this November on the 16th and 17th. This will be the biggest overseas business exhibition to have taken place on UK soil and some of the new additions to this year’s event include Colin McCullagh from OCO Global who’s going to share with you some tips on how SMEs can make the most of the opportunities that may (or may not) present themselves following Brexit.
What do OCO Global do and what will you be speaking about at Going Global Live?
OCO helps companies grow. We are a consulting firm specialised in internationalisation, working with SMEs to support their export journey and with Economic Development Organisations to drive regional prosperity through business attraction and export growth. OCO Global is the official delivery partner for DIT in the UAE and the North America markets, so we are deeply experienced in supporting companies from market evaluation to market entry and growth.
I will be sharing with SMEs a model for evaluating new markets and presenting some of the opportunities we are seeing for businesses across North America and UAE.
What is the appetite for UK exports in different markets now? How does it vary around the world?
The UK brand is still strong around the world, standing for quality, trust and innovation. A particular example is Dubai, where British companies are punching above their weight in securing opportunities around Expo2020. The issue is not about appetite for products, the issue that stands between appetite and exports is the UK firms’ commitment to the market. In the UAE and North America, companies want to see that the UK firm is serious and that there is someone they can speak to locally, even if the work is conducted back in Britain. This is a critical point for SMEs and reinforces why they need to focus their resources around priority strategic markets as opposed to reactively chasing enquiries and opportunities around the globe.
How do you think Brexit will affect SMEs in particular?
I think that uncertainty has the biggest impact on SME’s. Do they stick to their home market and see out the storm or do they twist and take advantage of a weaker pound and future proof their business by diversifying markets? The key factors to be considered here are RISK, FUNDING and AMBITION. I do think that Brexit, backed by UK Government support and ambition, will encourage SMEs to become more globally oriented.
What top 3 tips would you give to UK exporters as Brexit comes closer and closer?
Be brave. Get strategic. Commit.
It’s amazing what happens when you turn your attention to a goal… great things happen. Orient your business to where you want to be, get everyone in the business aligned, do your homework on markets and then go out and get networked, connecting with people who can share insights, learnings, connections and opportunities. This is a good platform for SME success in international markets.