This jump in sales has been largely due to services and skills being sold internationally, however there is no need to take our foot off the pedal. Enhancing the UK’s performance in international trade is undoubtedly critical to our export-led economic recovery. Building the competences that businesses need to access new markets must be the next thing on the education and skills development agenda in businesses and schools.

The ease of doing business with our neighbours sometimes leads us to forget about the many opportunities to expand into new markets outside the comfort of Europe.  So why don’t more businesses export?

Trading globally can be complex – each potential market presenting a myriad of challenges beyond getting to grips with basic research and the GDP figures.

With the continued instability of the global economy, the importance of would-be and existing exporters understanding the intricacies of trading - from modifying your product, setting a price, packaging, promotion, translations, website localisation and actually getting things delivered – has never been more vital to ensure that the precious margins earned in the sales visit are not eroded.

With a plethora of business support organisations encouraging us to go global, perhaps it’s time to take the plunge. Research ‘export’ online and you’ll be surprised how much support there is available, but remember this is not a short term fix for falling sales in your home market; it’s a planned approach to accessing new markets. Think about how you position your business internationally and sell on the value and quality of your work - selling on price when sterling is weak will only lead to troughs when it strengthens.

Be confident and don’t just sell - market yourself on the global stage.