Tutor Jeff Lewis, MBA BSc MIEx outlines the benefits of the IOE’s an Introduction to Exporting – Services course
Industries classified as services now contribute more to the UK economy than any other industry. Over time, their contribution has increased from an estimated 46% in 1948 to 78% in 2012.
Product and service exports are intrinsically intertwined. Demand for certain services is derived from product exports, and many products would not be exported without the support of services such as banking, insurance, and transportation.
While this sector is growing – with more companies who offer digital products gaining access to overseas markets – many UK service providers find it difficult to export and struggle to find relevant sources of information.
As the leading professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade, the IOE understands the importance of being aware not only of the regulations that must be adhered to, but of the potential issues which can also arise.
The Institute of Export is therefore pleased to announce the launch of a 1 day course which specifically addresses these issues. An Introduction to Exporting – Services covers the legal, operational and commercial implications of exporting a service, and explains why it is so important to understand these processes in order to develop a successful and profitable global business.
There are many things a company needs to consider if approached or if developing an opportunity to sell its services in an overseas market.
Most services are intangible, providing little in terms of samples that can be seen by the potential foreign buyer. Consequently, far more attention should be paid to translating the intangibility of a service into a tangible and saleable offer, than is the case with a product offer.
Services are often more time dependent than products – frequently being offered only for a specific period and, as time passes, the service perishes if not used.
Similarly, if you export a product and it gets damaged or is incorrect, it can be replaced. If you provide an intangible service then you are in for the long haul until the customer is satisfied. As any exporter knows, time = cost, and any delay during the service process can inevitably reduce profits and could end in the project costing money.
The lack of a physical product can also affect contracts. For example, you are unable to use Incoterms to formalise where the service will be delivered or who is responsible for insurance – in the same way you can when exporting a product.
From the VAT implications of trading in the EU for B2B and B2C sales, to contractual matters, selling anything – product or service – into an international market requires a great deal of preparation to ensure that your efforts are effective and financially efficient. Being able to get paid and communicate effectively with customers is vital, as is understanding the benefits that exist to help you provide a successful service.
The Introduction to Exporting Services course will ensure that you understand:
•Regulations and taxes for international trade in services
•VAT for services and digital products
•Intellectual property and licensing
• Operational and legal research to perform services
•The considerations for setting up overseas
•Understanding payment methods
•The importance of being culturally aware
• Market research
•The different platforms for promoting the service
•Maintaining a profit
• Sales and routes to market
•Optimizing websites for international trade
•E commerce and social media marketing
The opportunities are huge for UK companies seeking to export their services, however, as with most business ventures, research is key. Only detailed and focussed planning will enable you to make the decision as to whether exporting your service into a new market is a viable choice which would become a profitable venture – and not one which will cost your business.