There’s lots of opportunity for UK businesses to export, but exporting for the first time can be challenging. How do you make contacts in companies in other countries? What rules do you have to obey for exporting from the UK? What about the rules for importing into those other countries? It gets complicated, and that can make it daunting for newcomers.
There’s lots of help available, but it can be tricky to navigate. Through UK Trade & Investment, government offers help for free, or for a modest charge. Among other support, there's a nationwide team of advisors who offer face-to-face advice for anyone thinking of becoming an exporter. UKTI runs events across the country, including Export Week. There are ways to tap into the knowledge and expertise of the UK’s embassy network, which can help you make new contacts in countries you’ve never visited. And there is lots of help from organisations outside government like banks and chambers of commerce.
What can digital do?
We’re a new team working within UKTI Digital, and our job is to build digital services to help UK businesses export. We are Marco Fucci, Rebecca Kemp, Emma Lawson, Alex Nash, Asli Ozpehlivan, Dom Smith, Lisa Woo and Mingxi Zhang.
Our first goal is to build a prototype for a digital service for new exporters. A simple, quick way to start exporting. We’re aiming to have that ready before Christmas. We are starting by developing a prototype so we can learn about what people need and what is possible.
Our current focus is research. We’ve spent some time mapping the user journey for a small or medium sized business that wants to start exporting, and learning from our colleagues and their work.
We’re big fans of the GDS Design Principles, so we’re going to start small and iterate. For the purposes of building the prototype, we’ll be focusing on businesses in the food and drink sector who want to export to the European Union.
The research phase will see us getting out of the office. We’re going to be attending events, talking to users and potential users, really trying hard to get inside the heads of business people who want to export but aren’t sure where to start. If you’re one of them, we’d love to talk to you.
We believe in working in the open, so keep an eye on this blog for updates from us in the coming weeks - we’re looking forward to sharing what we learn from the research, and showing the first iterations of the prototype as they emerge.
If you’d like to get in touch, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org