Why Now is the Best Time for SMEs to Expand in the UK Market

12

MAY, 2020

One of the positive outcomes of the events of the past few months is that it is making SMEs rethink the way they operate. At this very moment, owners and management teams are questioning the systems, assumptions, and even the customer-base they have come to rely on.

While this process may be uncomfortable for some, it will no doubt create unseen opportunities and put many businesses in a much better place than they were before the start of the year.

A case in point is the growing interest among SMEs to branch out into the UK market in an effort to increase sales and expand operations.

The UK offers a lot of opportunities to Irish SMEs, especially now that Brexit is officially a reality. Even with all of the uncertainty surrounding its break from the EU, the UK has consistently been a top-ranked country for ease of doing business. It also has a history of fundamentally strong business, legal and cultural systems as well as a growing infrastructure. The UK’s size, close proximity, and shared language, are just the cherry on top.

While the UK government response to the coronavirus pandemic will certainly have a negative short-term impact on the economy, there is enough evidence to suggest that it will be a temporary situation. Many analysts predict a full recovery within the next 1 to 2 years.

3 Ways for SMEs to Start Planning Their UK Expansion

That said, there are several actions SMEs can take over the next few weeks to lay the ground work for their businesses to enter the UK market. Here are three of the most common and cost-effective options:

  1. Conduct market research. Even though Ireland and UK share the same island, they are still worlds apart in some respects. So, before an SME can even consider doing business on English soil, there needs to be some solid market research to establish sufficient market demand.

    Taken further, market research should also include looking for ways to quickly gather and analyze customer feedback and responsiveness. SMEs can then be in the best position to rapidly adapt products and services to match local preferences.

  2. Rethink and re-imagine internal systems. At this stage of the planning, the focus is on a business’ current internal operational systems and procedures. Expanding into the UK market may necessitate an increase in production capacity, changes to the supply chain, a revamping of data storage, management, and security systems and a better collection of collaboration tools– just to name a few.

    Since some SMEs are relying on their own custom legacy systems, any operational changes that will affect these systems will need to be deliberately thought through.

  3. Take advantage of online content distribution and sales channels. The fact that advanced sales and marketing activity can now be conducted online is a big plus for SMEs wanting to test the waters of the UK market. With an ecommerce website based in the UK, SMEs can now do business with their neighboring country while enjoying lower set-up and operational costs, including avoiding the cost of renting a physical location.

At the same time, these businesses can maximize sales and marketing activity by using marketing personalization and intelligent data analytics platforms, as well as giving customers the ability to make a purchase 24/7 and closing sales faster via mobile payments and other transactions. The best part to all of this is that much of this activity can happen instantly, and rather seamlessly on a customer’s mobile device.

Bottom line: looking past today’s headlines, the UK market is a promising opportunity for Irish SMEs wanting to expand their operations. But, the success of this opportunity requires SME leadership to think beyond the horizon line.

Read More of our New Articles

How Can You Protect Your SME from Ransomware?

How Can You Protect Your SME from Ransomware?

Over the past few years, cyber criminals have significantly ramped up their efforts in targeting small and mid-sized businesses with cyber extortion attacks. Using ransomware malware and compromised confidential data, they attempt to force their victims into paying large ransom payments.

WESTTECH LISTED IN THE EXCEPTIONAL 200 BUSINESSES OF 2020

This year has been like no other and for Business Cork, our annual awards event The Rémy Martin Cork Business Awards is not taking place this year due to Covid-19. We are replacing it with The Exceptional 200 of 2020. This is all about acknowledging 200 exceptional Cork people and Cork businesses that made a difference to Cork life this year by doing something that helped others and providing a service that went beyond the expectation. Many businesses had to pivot, upscale or change direction completely and this is no mean feat, given the rapid ascension of the virus onto our lives.

Bonafeyed Ransomware Protection

Our products are architected to automate the protection of all shared data and give the data owner complete control of its security. We use an advanced cryptographic algorithm that encrypts data before it leaves a sender’s computer, a backend application, website or Software-as-a-Service application. No matter where the data is sent, it remains secure and protected from unauthorized access. When deployed in an enterprise, all data is individually protected with 800-bit encryption. In the event of a data breach, cyber-criminals and internal bad-actors only obtain encrypted data and are faced with the last line of data protection, Cy4Secure Data Security.

5 Tips to Reduce Your Cyber Insurance Premiums

5 Tips to Reduce Your Cyber Insurance Premiums If your small business is handling sensitive data and relies on an assortment of applications and digital tools, then you should be investing in cyber insurance. Some smaller businesses may consider this type of...

CyberEasy & WestTech Technologies

Painless, Affordable Data Security for SMEs by CyberEasy   As the information age continues to evolve and expand, data is arguably becoming the most valuable and sought-after asset in the world. It easily pushes aside more traditional treasures, such as precious...

COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has proposed this Scheme in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the urgent need for retail companies to achieve a step change in online capability.

How Working from Home is Changing Irish SMEs

What was once the practice of a select few professionals, remote working has quickly become the norm for many jobholders in Ireland. Seemingly overnight, organizations of all sizes have had shift their operational models and make major upgrades …

Why Now is the Best Time for SMEs to Expand in the UK Market

One of the positive outcomes of the events of the past few months is that it is making SMEs rethink the way they operate. At this very moment, owners and management teams are questioning the systems, assumptions, and even the customer-base they …

What SMEs Can Do to Survive (and Even Thrive) in the Coronavirus Era

These are unusual times. Running any business has always been a risky endeavour. But, the pandemic that has brought the world economy to a grinding halt is a particularly difficult challenge for many Irish Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). All the …

What to Look For When Choosing a Professional IT Services Company

I recently visited with a small business interested in hiring a professional IT services company. A few minutes into the conversion, they mentioned the expensive package of products and services a competing IT company had offered them. It was …

How Digital Signage is Transforming Business Marketing

Extremely adaptable and highly engaging, digital signage offers significant advantages over printed “analog” signs. While digital displays are already employed in a number of internal business environments as an effective way to disseminate …

AI and Machine Learning are Transforming How SMEs Do Business

In the shifting sea of business buzzwords, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning currently have a commanding presence. Everywhere you turn these days, it seems like someone is talking about how businesses are leveraging analytics…

What Should You Focus on When Planning Your 2020 IT Budget?

With the end of the year around the corner, if you’ve put off planning your 2020 IT budget, then it’s about time you get going. The technologies you choose to bring into your business today will help you to stay productive and competitive …

Why Upgrading Software and Staying in Your Maintenance Contract is So Important

Upgrading software and staying in your software maintenance contract is good for your business, much like exercising and eating healthy food is for your body. Taking care of your business’ network and the devices it supports, helps to keep these…

SMEs and the Transition to a Paperless Office

As the business world continues to embrace a growing field of digital solutions, devices, and agile business models, the concept of a paperless office has been gaining traction. In a paperless office, the use of paper is significantly reduced by creating and managing business documents in their digital form.

Why SaaS does NOT have your back!

Don’t Rely on SaaS Vendors to Do Their Own Data Backup

If you are working with a SaaS vendor in your SME and don’t think that SaaS data backup is necessary, you may want to think again.

It’s no surprise that Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms like …

Bringing in Business Automation to Streamline Your SME

As the owner of an SME, you can easily find yourself and your staff caught up in the daily mountain of menial, yet essential tasks clamouring for your attention, rather than focusing on the endeavours that can grow your business. Even if you have …

Prevent Data Breaches in Your SME with These 5 Cybersecurity Tips

These days, knowing how to prevent data breaches has become a fundamental business process – as important as sound financial management, on-target marketing, and good customer service. But as the frequency and sophistication of …

Why Irish SMEs Need to Step Up Their Data Protection Policies

In May of 2018, the GDPR along side Ireland’s Data Protection Act 2018 (the “DPA”), became the biggest change in data protection rules to occur in Ireland. While much attention has been placed on this new batch of data privacy legislation, …

Don`t Put Off Moving Your Business to the Cloud

Over the past decade, there has been a widespread adoption of cloud-based services among corporate enterprises. Countless surveys and case studies point to the fact that online platforms and applications are helping these organisations these …