President's Message May 2015
In May we held another successful breakfast event which featured an engaging presentation by economist Nick Parsons. In amongst Nick’s various comments around the post election economic environment, one message came through loud and clear. He pointed to the fact that whilst many of us are able to run successful businesses by selling in to our traditional UK markets, lifting our heads and eyeing new overseas markets would provide the game changer which would undoubtedly drive up growth in our businesses.
There are of course many good reasons why businesses tend to focus on their home markets. Simple matters such as a common language, familiar legal system and first hand knowledge of the local business environment are persuasive factors to encourage businesses to operate solely in the domestic markets. However, with growth forecast at around 2% to 3% in the UK at best in the medium term, exploring overseas markets and carefully selecting those which provide the best opportunities for growth is an equally persuasive business strategy.
While I am sure that the first steps in creating an export strategy can appear quite daunting, it is comforting to know that many of our members have already taken these first difficult steps and have successfully opened up new markets whilst minimising the risks associated with trading overseas. Another key factor for such companies has been the local availability of professional advice in the legal, accountancy and finance sectors who are all well equipped to assist with such a strategy.
The St Albans Chamber of Commerce is very proud of its continued work with the professional services hub and there will be many opportunities to engage with this group actively known as the City of Expertise during the inaugural business festival. I would suggest that the subject of exploring new overseas markets may well be a key discussion point during the week 22nd – 26th June.