New researchfrom flexible workspace provider Regus demonstrates that Birmingham's exportersare reporting significantly stronger company performances than theirdomestic-only counterparts, even as the UK economy returns to growth.
The poll revealsthat 59% of exporters from Birmingham have chalked up profit growth over thelast year compared to only 39% of firms trading domestically. Similarly, athird of internationally trading firms increased their revenues compared to 49%of domestic firms.
Respondents inthe research emphasised that success overseas is greatly enhanced by having aphysical presence in their target markets. Seven in ten report that being close to the customer improves customerretention rates. Almost two thirds(64%) report that it boosts sales and helps them solve problems quicker. Six in ten (58%) say that an overseas presencehelps them gain a better understanding of customers and markets.
Asked aboutthe type of government initiatives that best support businesses planningforeign expansion, companies cited advice on legal and regulatory matters (64%),followed by introductions to local business associations (54%) and advice on taxation(41%).
John Spencer, UK CEO at Regus comments: "Amidst intensifying debate over Britain's role inthe EU, this research serves as a timely reminder of the importance of foreigntrade links for business. Companies that export perform better than those thatdo not, whether that's simply because they have a wider prospect base or because they are able to shift theirfocus to markets where demand for their products or services is growing.
"People always talk about 'getting close tothe customer', and in export markets that can be literally true. Yet we knowfrom previous research that a third of firms believe the biggest obstacle to overseas expansion is thechallenge of setting up a physical presence in a foreign country. We are seeinghigh demand from British exporters foron-demand services such as Virtual Offices and business lounges that allow themto contain costs and minimise risk whilst establishing a credible presencerapidly, anywhere across the globe."
Regus is the world's largest provider offlexible workspaces with 2000 locations across 104 countries. Google, Twitter,Toshiba Europe and TomTom all use the Regus network to expand into new markets,as well as thousands of SMEs.