The development of the Single European Market and the resulting publicity has persuaded many smaller firms to look to continental Europe as their first choice for market expansion opportunities. These include many UK small firms in the service sector where the economic benefits of a reduction in trade barriers are not so apparent. The approaches used by small service companies and professional practices in dealing with Europe are examined to identify the lessons learnt and to draw comparisons with Central Government advice. Semi‐structured interviews were held with managers from a randomly drawn sample of small firms in the UK with experience of exporting their services to Europe. The firms had experienced varying degrees of success with their forays into Europe. The study suggests that some small service sector firms may have greater potential in non‐EEC and/or English‐speaking nations than in Europe and that for many the experience of Europe has been expensive and erroneous. Small service firms should look to match their strengths to the market, which may be in Eastern Europe, South Africa or the Middle East, rather than tackle an EEC country where their competitive advantages are limited and market conditions may be hostile.
Satchell, W. and Marriott, D. (1996), "EUROPEAN EXPORT STRATEGIES OF UK SMALL SERVICE FIRMS", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 63-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb020966Download as .RIS
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