SMEs: Overcoming the challenges of going global

by Juan Cajiao, Twill Head of Growth

As a small or medium enterprise (SMEs), you may not know it, but your business is critical not just to the economy of your city or your country, but to the entire world. Your business, and other SMEs like it, represent 95% of all companies.

Despite this, SMEs often find it difficult to go global. Only 25% of EU-based SMEs (1) export at all and an even smaller portion export beyond the EU.

This doesn’t need to be the case and the potential influence of SMEs is clear. For example, looking outside of the EU, a sample of companies from 17 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – as well as Brazil – showed SMEs account for 63% of total employment (2).

As well as generating employment, stronger participation from SMEs in global markets can create incredible opportunities to scale-up, accelerate innovation and sustain competitive economies (3).

What’s stopping you going global?

At Twill more than 95% of our customers are SMEs, so we spend a lot of time making sure we understand your position in the global market and the challenges you face – whether that’s resources, technology or knowledge and experience.

Setting up a new business, or taking your business global, is a big task and you need to know that people will want what you’re selling. We know the next challenge is finding reliable partners. They might not always be based in the country you’re looking to import/export with – but it’s a huge relief when you find them and they’ll be important to the success of your company as it grows.

As well as this, we know that a lack of knowledge and experience in documentation and regulation is a major barrier for SMEs. If you’re in the UK and want to export into Brazil, you need to understand the regulations and laws of that country. This isn’t always easy because every country will have its own specific regulations and it can take some searching to find the information you need!

As well as this, these regulations and laws are always changing so keeping on top of updates can be difficult if you’re tackling it on your own.

Finally, there is the need to be cost-effective without sacrificing quality. As an SME you naturally don’t have the resources available to huge multi-national companies – but that doesn’t mean you need to miss out.

Twill can help you break through

Right from the start, Twill was created to help SMEs. Being designed with your interests at our core makes us strong partners, able to help you break through the barriers you’re facing – and we do it simply, while keeping costs low.

When working with us, you’re getting more than a platform – you’re getting an award-winning team that will follow your cargo across its entire journey. We stay updated on changes to regulation or documentation around the world and will guide you through the entire process, letting you know when your approval is required, or you need to sign a document.

Through our platform every booking has its own ‘digital clock’ making sure your cargo is at the right milestone in its journey at the right time – and you can see those milestones 24/7.

Then of course there’s cost, and our price transparency approach ensures that the price you’re quoted when you book is the price you pay when your cargo arrives safely. There are no surprises and if anything changes, we’ll always be in touch well in advance.

SMEs inspire change

As you saw at the start of this article, you may think of yourself and your business as a tiny player in the scheme of our global economy – like a small fish in a very big pond. But the truth is that as an SME you play a huge part in our economy and together with other SMEs you are the biggest fish there is!

As well as this, it is you and your needs that accelerate and inspire the innovators of our world – in logistics and beyond. You deserve the best possible service for your business – to help it break through and go global.

Check out who are the SMEs and their roles in global economy

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