Harness the web and bring overseas customers to your door, export event hears

USING the web effectively for an overseas presence and for selling products through e-commerce can dramatically boost export sales, businesses have been told.

Top exporters and business services experts from Deloitte LLP, advised on how to harness the web for exports and some of the tax and employment considerations of establishing an overseas base at an We Are International Event in Leeds this week (Wed July 17).

Welcomed by Chamber International lead associate, Mike Stawson, an audience of more than 90 existing and would-be exporters, members of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Export Network ambassadors and specialists from Chamber International and UKTI, attended the two-hour event at Deloitte LLP, Leeds, to capitalize on a ‘tidal wave of enthusiasm’ for overseas sales throughout the Leeds City Region.

We Are International, launched by LEP and delivered by Chamber International is a major regional business campaign to stimulate exporting and bring £2.6bn and create thousands of jobs within Leeds City Region by 2018.

Key note speaker, serial entrepreneur and chief executive of global translation services company, thebigword, Larry Gould, who has secured a raft of contracts worth more than £50m in Europe, the US and Afghanistan, discussed his own experience and explained how simple measures such as localising websites by translating into local languages can help customer confidence and boost sales.

Commercial sales director of Leeds electronics manufacturers Premier Farnell, Rob Rospepedzihowski, said that by harnessing the web, coupled with strategic call centres and multi-lingual staff, had been a major driver of growth at the company which how has global sales of £973m. A total of 70% of its trade overseas with 80% of its sales delivered online.

Rob Rospepedzihowski said: “Harnessing the Internet for exports has been crucial for our business and it is true to say that we would not still be in business if we had not done so. There have been challenges and difficulties along the way and substantial investment but this has been more than rewarded by the achievements and resulting sales growth which has enabled our business to survive and prosper.”

Meanwhile newly-recruited export ambassador, Laura Burton, senior tax manager and tax partner, Andrew Coticelli, at Deloitte discussed some of the complex tax considerations of trading overseas including what constitutes a taxable overseas base, the proportions of local staff which can be employed, transferring income through different business territories and employment law issues.

Afterwards, international trade director of Chamber International, Bradford, Tim Bailey, said: “Increasing exports is crucial to getting the Leeds City Region economy growing. This campaign is designed to bring experienced exporters into contact with those who are starting out and need the confidence and contacts to help them sell overseas.”

Click here to download the speaker presentations