Top 100 Tips for Businesses – #3 Exporting


Think your business can’t export? – think again

That was the takeaway message from yesterdays ‘International Trade Secrets for Businesses’ masterclass.

And the presentation was so informative for businesses, we’ve decided to include it in our ‘100 top tips’ series, even though it’s not about legal matters.

Sharon Stathers and Stephan Stahl, international trade advisers for Yorkshire & the Humber with the Department of International Trade (DIT), were sharing this and other insights at the first of our James Legal – The Business 2017 masterclass events.

And most delegates said what they heard really made them think afresh about the opportunities that might exist overseas.

If you weren’t able to join us, hopefully this blog will give you a flavour of the opportunities Sharon and Stephan described.

Sharon and Stephan’s top 10 nuggets of wisdom

  • ‘The main ingredient of export success is commitment’ – Stephan explained that selling goods and services abroad isn’t necessarily the easy option, but the rewards can be great for those organisations with staying power
  • The top 10 target countries for businesses in Yorkshire & The Humber include the USA and Australia
  • The top five export sectors for Yorkshire & Humber businesses are education and training, food and drink, advanced engineering, healthcare and medical, and construction
  • ‘British made’ is an enormous selling point abroad, as a mark of quality
  • Foreign businesses like to deal with UK companies, as we have a reputation for being fair
  • The benefits of exporting include sourcing new and innovative ideas, growth, improving your business’s sustainability in good times and bad, and increased profitability.
  • There is free and funded support available, via the DIT, for businesses wishing to explore the possibility of exporting abroad and Sharon, Stephan and their team can connect companies to appropriate opportunities and export partners
  • Exporting can be a professionally and personally rewarding experience, building relationships that last a lifetime
  • Live opportunities that exist this week include a craft beer importer for Berlin, and a supplier of valves and industrial equipment for Saudi Arabia
  • Under the Government’s ‘Exporting for Growth’ initiative, grants of at least £2,000 are available for eligible exporters in our region – SMEs prepared to work with the DIT to enter into or develop their exporting and create job.

Sharon and Stephan also shared a number of interesting case studies illustrating that it’s not just long established manufacturing companies that can export. Any business can export, whether it offers products or services and is a large, small or micro business. Selling online opens up opportunities for smaller craft businesses too.

Sharon said: “There are thousands of people looking for expertise, goods and services of UK businesses, and those in the Yorkshire & Humber have a great deal to offer.

“Exporting is not difficult, it is just different and we’d urge any businesses that would like to have a go, to come and see us to discuss their options.”

Stephan added: “The most important thing a business needs, to trade successfully abroad, is commitment. They need to decide to do it, jump in and then be prepared to see the process through, and they will succeed.”

Our James Legal – The Business 2017 campaign includes a Business Booster competition with a prize fund worth £39,000, for two stand out businesses from our region that need a helping hand moving to the next level. We have launched the campaign to help organisations in the region grasp the once-in-a-generation opportunity Hull, City of Culture 2017 represents.

James Legal Managing Director Nick Miller said: “Today’s was a great event and we’re incredibly grateful to Sharon and Stephan, and all our campaign partners, for making it a success.

“It was great to see people go away with some genuine food for thought that could help them take their businesses forward to the next level, which is what this campaign is all about.”

Janette Elliott is Co-Director of Elliott Hygiene Ltd, one of our newest campaign partners, and attended the masterclass. She said: “It was great to have the opportunity to hear Sharon and Stephan’s extremely inspirational presentation, and to have chance to rub shoulders with so many like-minded businesses, working together to make a difference.”

Any businesses wanting to find out more about exporting abroad can contact the regional DIT team for Hull, East Riding, North & North East Lincolnshire via the following numbers:

For more details of our James Legal – The Business 2017 campaign, our masterclasses and the Business Booster competition, visit, or call Lindsey Nicklin on (01482) 225566.

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