Small businesses are increasingly making use of the internet to reach customers beyond the UK.
This is according to Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation, who told the BBC Radio 5 On The Money podcast that her firm – which provides support to small companies and start-ups – has seen a significant increase in interest in overseas trading.
A survey recently conducted by the organisation found two-thirds of small businesses operate at a global level within their first year.
"Small businesses who are operating on low overheads, have niche products to sell, are harnessing the web [and] embracing technology … are getting out there to nations where there are customers who are willing to pay," Ms Jones explained.
Small business e-commerce on a global scale
So, how should small businesses go about targeting an international audience with their e-commerce website?
It depends on the country you want to sell goods in, but you will need to consider how to make your website suitable for use by non-UK customers.
While some nations also have English as their primary language, many others do not, so it's worthwhile thinking about translating your existing website or even hiring someone to create a new international site from scratch and write content for it.
You will need to thoroughly research the market you intend to enter; obtaining as much information as possible on business and retail law, competitors and rival products will help you to determine whether there is an unfilled niche you could step into and to formulate the right advertising campaign and SEO strategy.
More generally, there are financial implications to bear in mind. Will operating abroad affect your tax status? How will fluctuations in exchange rates impact on your finances? A financial professional can help you answer these questions and more besides.