British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent trip to China, heading one of the biggest trade delegations for years to the East, enforces the need for companies to look for exports when coping with the recession. But in looking further afield, it is essential that companies ensure that they have comprehensive business insurance.

Getting proper business insurance is essential for operating in the home markets, but when seeking to play in the larger export markets, it becomes more crucial than ever.

And this is not just the realm of the larger corporations. Those in the small company sector need the same sort of protection. Small business insurance can help the more ‘export innocent’ companies survive in a trickier market place.

One of the main problems to deal with when trying to expand into export markets is the knowledge and experience gap. Companies looking to expand into other countries are faced with enormous challenges. Even looking across from say England to France – a distance of only 25 years – can mean vast cultural, social and economic changes, that can leave many companies bewildered.

For British companies – especially the smaller outfits with good sme business cover – the language problem of trying to deal in Europe (mainland Europe has a vast array of languages and cultures to consider) is so daunting, that they first try to develop US markets.

And although the US appears very tempting (English is the main language and the two countries share common values and cultural references), even some of the larger companies have struggled to crack this vast marketplace. The reasons are varied, but to understand the US, is to understand that the country is still very insular and in many product areas, is still very inward looking.

It may well be that the common language is a dramatic help, but any British company that thinks it can march in and quickly develop a new market for itself (tempted by the huge size of the country and its markets), could be in for a nasty surprise.

Developing an export market from a standing start takes determination and often a big budget. And what it often requires is an intermediary; an agent who can help make the introductions and advise on the initial approach. Agents, for a fee of course, would be responsible for creating a beachhead into a chosen export country. They have the language skills and the contacts to kick things off. But here companies have to be careful as well, as picking a suitable agent is crucial to the initial success of the project. Agents names and references should be checked by the various British trade bodies and trade ministries.

Wherever a company seeks to develop its export markets, good business insurance cover is essential.

If you require any further assistance or guidance please get in touch on 0207 731 3700. Alternatively, just email us your requirements.