Get your complimentary ticket to CeBIT 2017

CeBIT Pepper

Open to Export members can get complimentary tickets for CeBIT 2017.

Open to Export have secured complimentary tickets which you can access by clicking on the following link:

Digital transformation takes centre stage at CeBIT 2017 – the Global Event for Digital Business. As the world’s foremost event devoted to the digitalization of business, administration and society, CeBIT 2017 will focus on the wealth of opportunities inherent in the digital transformation. Humanoid robots, self-driving cars, automated factories and drone deliveries are just a few examples of how the digital transformation is reshaping our economy and society more than any other advance in the history of technology. The keynote theme at CeBIT 2017, “d!economy – no limts”, reveals the enormous potential of digitalisation. Continue reading

How Brexit could affect the UK’s role in developing future standards


Read a report by Enterprise Europe Network on how the UK’s roles in developing future standards could be affected by Brexit.

Ahead of our webinar on Brexit on January 17thEnterprise Europe Network have shared a report on the likely impact of the UK’s exiting the EU on its role in developing future standards. The post reports on a recent webinar hosted by the British Standards Institute, BSI, on how the UK’s involvement in setting future standings could be affected.

The key takeaways from the webinar were that:

  1. Following the result of the UK referendum there will be a transition period. While negotiations are on-going, it is business as usual for BSI, including all aspects of standards making, policy and strategy work.
  2. BSI’s ambition is that the UK should continue to participate in the European Standardization System, with BSI as a full member of CEN and CENELEC.
  3. BSI is confident that a UK exit from the EU will not affect BSI’s membership of ISO, IEC and ETSI.

You can read the full report here. Continue reading

Putting GREAT British products under Christmas trees around the world


Open to Export are heading off on the festive break this week, but helping UK SMEs expand business overseas is never far from our minds.

We received an email to from a little known import-export business called ‘The Saint Nick Delivery Company’ asking if there were any UK products they could distribute to a ‘global audience’ and we couldn’t resist this opportunity to promote great UK businesses looking to start exporting.

When responding to the exports@saintnick.xmas email we initially didn’t know where to start in terms of which businesses to recommend. There are so many businesses that could become great exporters but not all of them have sufficient plans in place to make the most of international business opportunities like these. Continue reading

Export Action Plan Case Study: Premier Plant Hire

Following another inspiring Export Action Plan final, we’ve asked each of the finalists about their experiences using the tool and for their export tips for future entrants. In this case study we talk to Premier Plant Hire.

Premier plant hire

Premier Plant Hire present at the Export Action Plan final.

How would you describe your business / what do you sell?

We are developing, manufacturing and selling modular conveyor belts and diesel particulate filters to mainly construction related enterprises. Continue reading

Webinar series: Beyond the EU


As part of our 2017 webinar programme, Open to Export is running a series of webinars on markets outside of the EU which UK SMEs should consider while trade in Europe becomes more uncertain during the Brexit negotiations.

While Europe will always be the most significant region for UK exports, looking beyond the continent and trading with more regions around the world is a great way of spreading risk for growing businesses.

We already covered the Commonwealth as a collection of markets with shared language, histories and cultures – including Australia and Nigeria – in November, covered what UK SMEs need to know about Brexit itself in 2017 in January.

In February we will be focusing on three potential key markets for UK SMEs: Russia, Latin America and North America. You can find more details and the registration links for each of these sessions below. Continue reading

How the Export Action Plan competition helped us take our next export steps


Open to Export recently hosted our third Export Action Plan Competition and once again,  we enjoyed hearing from some great finalists pitching their plans to our panel of judges.  

The competition is designed to encourage small businesses to use the action plan tool to create a coherent plan for international expansion. The action plan has already helped many SMEs to take their next steps towards international growth by walking inexperienced exporters through some vital, key steps to success.

All of our finalists paid testament to the impact the plan has had on their thinking about export including Michele Conway, Sales Director of Pasta Foods, who told us:

“The plan has made us consider the priorities for our business and enabled us to strategically look at where to focus our efforts first, we’ve already achieved some quick wins – and the support from the Open to Export team has been brilliant.”

Nikky Hall, Creative Director at Polkadoodles, added: Continue reading

Food and drink Q3 export snapshot

fdf snapshot

As part of our ongoing support of the food and drink sector, we’re delighted to share with you the FDF and FDEA export snapshot for the 3rd quarter of 2016. Food and drink exports are continually rising and the sector has a significant role to play as part of the government’s pledge to increase the UK’s overall exports.

See the full snapshot here and you can read the executive summary below. Continue reading

Export Action Plan Case Study: Polkadoodles

Following another inspiring Export Action Plan final, we’ve asked each of the finalists about their experiences using the tool and for their export tips for future entrants. In this case study we talk to Polkadoodles.

nikky hall polkadoodles

Nikky Hall, Creative Director of Polkadoodles.

How would you describe your business / what do you sell?

Polkadoodles manufactures and sells unique craft products to crafters around the world. Continue reading

Export Action Plan Case Study: Pasta Foods

Following another inspiring Export Action Plan final, we’ve asked each of the finalists about their experiences using the tool and for their export tips for future entrants. In this case study we talk to Pasta Foods.

pasta foods case study

Michele Conway, Sales Director at Pasta Foods.

How would you describe your business / what do you sell?

We are a dried pasta manufacturer and snack pellet producer based in the UK. Selling directly into some of the world’s largest food manufacturers – our products end up in many markets such as canned, ambient, fresh and frozen. Continue reading

Case study – Chemoxy go international to create a more robust customer base


Established in 1868, Chemoxy International is one of Europe’s largest independent contract producers of chemicals. They manufacture products that are used across a range of sectors, such as oil and gas, personal care and coatings. They are based in Middlesbrough, where they have carried out distillation for almost 150 years, and a new expansion was opened in Billingham in 2014.

Chemoxy are a medium-sized enterprise, employing more than 140 highly-skilled people across its two sites. As such they are able to move with the speed of a smaller company, while maintaining the health and safety and environmental standards of a much larger firm.

The UK chemical and pharmaceutical industry is a global leader and exports over £50 billion to the EU alone. Chemoxy is no different, with 60% of its products exported overseas, bringing in around 61% of its annual turnover. They have supplied their goods to the rest of the world for a number of years now, with their ‘Coasol’ coalescent range being their best-selling product. Their success doing so has allowed the company to double its number of employees, while expanding its manufacturing capacity by over 30%. This progress was recognised by the North East of England Process Industry Chamber (NEPIC), who awarded Chemoxy their ‘New to Export’ award in 2012. Continue reading

Announcing the 2017 webinar programme

2017 open to export webinars

Open to Export would like to thank everyone who completed our survey asking for topics to cover in our webinars for 2017.

We’re now delighted to announce the new programme covering all of the most important topics in international trade, from Brexit to export documentation.

You can already register to webinars in January, February and March and we look forward to sharing more details on future sessions as the year goes on.

Catch up with all of our previous webinars at

Webinar programme for 2017

What you need to know about Brexit in 2017 – 17 January 14:00 – register now

Beyond the EU series:

Export essentials: what if I’m selling a service? – 15 March 1400 – register now Continue reading

Export Action Plan Case Study: Lick Frozen Yogurt

Following another inspiring Export Action Plan final, we’ve asked each of the finalists about their experiences using the tools and for their export tips for future entrants, starting with the winners – Lick Frozen Yogurt.

Alexandra Hargreaves presenting for Lick Frozen Yogurt.

Alexandra Hargreaves presented for Lick Frozen Yogurt.

How would you describe your business / what do you sell?

Lick is a UK based frozen yogurt brand, famous in its field for opening the first froyo shop in the UK and then developing the world’s only frozen yogurt which is made entirely from yogurt (other brands can only reach a maximum of around 70% yogurt).  Lick brand goes beyond yogurt, we also release music on our record label, and actively support grass roots environmental campaigns (most recently, Lick raised thousands of pounds for bee hives in Brighton). Continue reading

Top Tips on Finalising an Export Deal

export deal tipsAlex Dalton, Managing Director of woodworking machinery specialists Daltons Wadkin, shares his top tips on finalising an export deal.

So, you have a serious product enquiry from overseas, or even a request for a price quotation. Now what? As a business, you don’t want to lose this hot lead but how should you follow through and make it happen?

In this post, I’ll offer some advice to help you choose safe, prompt and cost-effective transportation, work with a freight forwarder to prepare your final quotation, and arrive at an appropriate price.

You might think it goes without saying but, before anything else, you should make sure your product is suitable for sale outside domestic markets. You’d be surprised how many sales fall through after realising the logistics of exportation to the country in question isn’t as easy or cost effective as anticipated.

Don’t make life hard for yourself, consult and seek guidance from local government market experts, and make sure you gain insight from prospective customers, wholesalers, agents and embassies. You need an all-round view and understanding before progressing with an export deal, especially if it’s your first time. Continue reading

5 Ways You Can Use An Interpreter To Maximise Overseas Business

evi xydia

Evi Xydia, ONCALL Interpreters, tells us why interpreting services are worth the investment.

Overcoming language barriers in business is no easy feat but it’s vital if you want to maximise your opportunities and gain a competitive edge in other markets.

Research has shown that it takes 12 languages to reach 80% of the world’s online audience and 21 to reach 90%* – and these numbers are growing. Understandably, this might sound a little daunting – it’s not often you meet somebody able to converse in a dozen languages. So, how do companies do it?   Continue reading