Proximity to customers pays off for exporters

But more support needed, finds Regus report

International trade is easier than ever before thanks to developments in technology with more and more firms taking advantage of the online export opportunity.    Yet, according to the latest research by Regus, the workspace provider with centres in Dublin and Cork, over 8 in 10 Irish firms (83%) report that sales are boosted by having a presence in the same country as their customers, reiterating that when it comes to success in new markets overseas, companies should apply the same common-sense rules that they would at home.

The poll, which canvassed the opinions of business owners and senior managers across Ireland, also found that improved customer retention (82%) and satisfaction rates (72%) were among the key benefits of having a physical presence close to customers. 

Additional advantages of customer proximity pinpointed by the research include increased understanding of customers and their markets (80%), being able to deal more effectively with customer problems (70%), and improved marketing effectiveness (58%). 

But foreign expansion is a big step for businesses to take and a difficult one if support is lacking. In particular, almost two thirds of Irish firms report that aside from making customer introductions, their government trade delegations can most usefully help them expand abroad by providing advice on legal and regulatory matters (63%).

Other support measures called for include:

  • Advice on taxation (52%)
  • Government introductions to local business organisations and associations (49%)
  • Information on the local culture, customs and social locations (29%)
  •  A directory of places to network (28%)

Karen Lawlor, Country Manager for Ireland at Regus comments: “People always talk about ‘getting close to the customer’, and in export markets that can be literally true. Yet we know from previous research that two thirds of Irish believe the biggest obstacle to overseas expansion is the challenge of setting up a physical presence in a foreign country. This explains why we see such high demand from Irish exporters for on-demand services such as Virtual Offices and business lounges that allow them to contain costs and minimise risk whilst establishing a credible presence rapidly, anywhere across the globe.”

Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces with 2000 locations across 102 countries. Google, Twitter, Toshiba Europe and TomTom all use the Regus network to expand into new markets, as well as thousands of SMEs.  





About Regus

Regus is the global workplace provider.

Its network of more than 2000 business centres in 103 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.

The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.5million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.

Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: