A YouGov survey released today has shown that Scottish SMEs are failing to tap into export opportunities with just 27% of them currently selling their products and services outside the UK.
SMEs in the manufacturing sector showed the strongest export capability, with 63 per cent of those surveyed saying they export beyond the UK, followed by those in the media, marketing and advertising sector (57 per cent) and the education sector (46 per cent).
The YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Amazon also found that the bigger a company's turnover, the more likely it is to export. Roughly 60 per cent of SMEs with an annual turnover of £10m or more are exporting, compared to 41 per cent of companies with an annual turnover of between £1m and £10m. Of those with annual revenues of less than £1m, just 24 per cent are exporters.
Scottish SMEs in their first year of trading are also unlikely to export, with just 13 per cent doing so.
Those who do sell goods and services outside the UK primarily focus on the EU (83 per cent), followed by the US at 50 per cent. Other European countries outside the EU come in third at 30 per cent, followed by Canada at 27 per cent.
“The internet and technology have the power to democratise the ability to start and run your own business, and gives SMEs global reach that’s low cost and flexible,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “As long as you have a laptop, internet connection, and a great product, you can essentially be local and sell global... SMEs small and large, urban and rural – selling online can help open their business to a global customer base and drive growth.”