Small and medium-sized business are not making the most of exporting opportunities according to Business Link London (BLL).

And to make sure the trend does not continue BLL has just launched the Export Potential Assessment (EPA) service free to businesses in Greater London.

The service provides both new and active exporters with objective and impartial advice on all of the key elements of exporting to help ensure their success in overseas markets.

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Business Link London is very candid about why it is able to make such a generous offer. "We are funded by the DTI exclusively to help companies to succeed in international markets," comments export development manager Lewis Scott.

Each EPA is conducted by one of Business Link's export development counsellors, who have themselves been professional exporters for most their careers. It offers:

A three hour meeting at the company's premises

A thorough assessment of the company's export potential

Details of government-sponsored export programmes and subsidised services

A free guide to exporting, produced in association with Royal Mail and the London Chamber of Commerce

Registration with TradeUK, the free export sales leads service.

Lewis Scott observes, "The latest research reveals that small and medium-sized companies that manage their exports successfully are growing at four times the rate of those that are weak exporters.

"We have developed the EPA to help businesses to manage their exports as effectively as possible - and therefore maximise their profits from overseas markets."

Although many businesses considered exporting at some point, most of them dismissed the idea because they simply didn't know where to start.

The CBI also found that major barriers included fear of the unknown, fear of failure and the high cost of entry into overseas markets.

Business Link London can be contacted on 07000 405 060.

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