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 fulfillment, 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 programs 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 programs, specifically designed to support UK businesses with international trade.
Some of these programs 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.
While joining does come at a fee, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the benefits to determine whether it’s a good fit for your business.
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 Programs
The E-Exporting Program 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 Program 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
Institute of Export Professional Qualifications
Institute of Export Short Training Courses
Foreign Exchange Resources
Currencies Direct Rate Alert
Currencies Direct Foreign Exchange News
Currencies Direct Currency Charts
Essential Currency Tips for Cross-Border Sellers
World First Foreign Exchange Guide
World First Live Rate Graphs & Tables
Barclays Business Abroad
Business Finance Support Finder
Santander Trade Hub
UK Export Finance
Tax & VAT Resources
FTI Global VAT Compliance
VAT Guide for Exporters
European VAT:The Expert Guide for Online Sellers
International Shipping Resources
A List of eCommerce Fulfilment Services Across the UK
Delivery Options For Exporters
DHL Export Guide
Freight Forwarder Search
Legal Checklist for Exporting
Resources for Delivery & Documentation
Royal Mail International Delivery
International Returns Resources
How to Make Your International Returns Easy & Profitable
Additional Global Expansion Resources
A Complete List of Online Marketplaces Across the Globe
Ask the Experts Forum
Exporting Country Guides
Expanding Into the US:The Top American Marketplaces to Sell On
How to Grow Your Business in Europe with Amazon
How to Sell on eBay Internationally
Information for New Exporters
Information for Occasional Exporters
Information for Regular Exporters
Resources for Getting Started Exporting
Resources for Selecting a Market
Resources for Reaching Customers
Resources for Pricing & Getting Paid
Selling in Brazil:The Top Brazilian Marketplaces to Sell On
Selling in France:The Top French Marketplaces to Sell On
Selling in Germany:The Top German Marketplaces to Sell On
Useful Contacts for International Trade
XSellco Fusion - Customer Support Translation Tool