SMEs expect international trading to drive 25% of their business growth over the next five years. Mobile technology is critical to these operations.
EE’s SME International Ambitions online survey of 1,000 senior decision makers in British businesses was conducted by YouGov, and found that the US and Western Europe are the top growth markets for Britain’s smaller businesses. Over two thirds of senior decision makers in SMEs operating internationally (69%) said international calls are critical to their business, and three quarters (75%) said that using mobile devices while abroad for calls, text, email, web and file sharing in the same way they do at home was extremely important when travelling. 70% said mobile technology helps them better interact with overseas customers, partners and prospects.
The research further revealed:
- After Western Europe and the USA, the Nordics is the third most popular growth market, with 44% of SMEs currently or with plans to operate internationally saying they’re targeting the region
- Asia and Eastern Europe are the fourth and fifth top growth markets, each with 42%, while one third (33%) are targeting Australia and New Zealand
- 22% currently or plan to trade with South America, and 21% currently trade with or are aiming to trade with South Africa
- Northern Africa was revealed to be the market SMEs are least likely to be targeting for growth, as just 15% of SMEs saying they currently or plan to trade with it
- Manufacturing (71%), media and marketing (67%) and IT/telecoms (43%) are the industries most likely to be trading or planning to trade abroad
- Additionally, 40% said that they are currently trading internationally, while a further six per cent plan to do so within the next five years.