Is Your Business Ready to Go Global? New Study Reveals Shocking Truth

A recent study uncovers the startling readiness gap that UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face when considering international expansion.

2 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • The majority of SMEs in the UK lack both the financial expertise and the appropriate technology infrastructure to operate overseas.
  • A significant proportion of SMEs express dissatisfaction with the limited support from banks, specifically in terms of managing international payments and navigating expansion.
  • Fintech solutions, offering bespoke advice and advanced financial tools, are emerging as vital resources for SMEs looking to expand their global footprint.

Navigating the International Maze: The Struggle of UK SMEs

A shocking 65% of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lack the necessary financial expertise to venture beyond their home turf. This startling revelation emerged from a recent study, shedding light on the internal challenges facing SMEs in the process of international expansion.

This study, the result of a collaborative effort with an independent polling agency, also found that a substantial 68% of respondents felt that their businesses lacked the appropriate technological infrastructure to operate in other markets. This dearth of both financial acumen and technological readiness significantly hampers the ability of SMEs to grow beyond their domestic markets.

The Importance of Cash Flow Visibility and the Dissatisfaction with Banks

Around 73% of the SMEs emphasized that gaining visibility into their cash flows was a vital element for future business success. However, a higher 72% indicated that their companies did not possess the capabilities to manage foreign payments effectively.

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Furthermore, SME owners expressed dissatisfaction with the limited support provided by their banks concerning international transactions. About 72% of them found their banks wanting in terms of facilitating international payments, which in turn impeded their global expansion ambitions.

Transfer Fees: A Thorn in the Flesh

International transaction fees have emerged as a major concern for SMEs. A whopping 72% of the respondents agreed that these fees were excessively high and constituted a significant impediment to their growth aspirations. There’s a clarion call from SMEs for a reduction in transfer fees to foster international expansion and promote the overall financial health of these businesses.

Potential Unleashed: The Promise of International Expansion

The study indicated that approximately 69% of SME owners saw a great potential in international expansion for their companies. These SMEs are hungry for opportunities in the global market and want their financial institutions to take their international ambitions more seriously. This sentiment has become even more relevant given the recent launch of an inquiry by MPs into the financing of SMEs and the revelation of a 37% slump in UK FinTech funding in the first half of 2023.

A Helping Hand from Fintech Platforms

A ray of hope in this complex scenario is the emergence of fintech platforms like HedgeFlows. These innovative solutions are committed to addressing the challenges of international expansion for SMEs head-on. By offering cutting-edge financial tools and expert guidance, they aim to equip SMEs with the necessary resources to successfully navigate the complexities of international operations.

Platforms such as HedgeFlows offer a valuable alternative to expensive enterprise solutions, helping ambitious companies access services often denied by big banks. By seamlessly managing foreign payments, cashflows, and invoices, these fintech solutions empower SMEs to compete and grow on the international stage.

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Conclusion

The journey towards international expansion can be fraught with challenges for UK SMEs. However, with the right financial expertise, technological infrastructure, and banking support, these enterprises can confidently venture into the global marketplace. Emerging fintech solutions provide a glimmer of hope, ensuring that SMEs are not left to navigate these uncharted waters alone.

There’s no denying that the global expansion of SMEs is not only beneficial for their individual growth, but also crucial for the UK economy as a whole. As such, it is vital to bridge the knowledge gap, reduce obstacles like high transaction fees, and provide much-needed support to these businesses as they set sail towards international markets.


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