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:

“I was impressed how the plan took me through the practical stages and kept me focused and on track. It also gave me clarity on key issues such as documentation and capital outlay. As a result of the plan, I made changes for the better which included changing the packaging of our products into different languages and learning valuable things about shipment.”

The showcase final for the competition itself inspired and energised shortlisted companies with finalists meeting and learning from each other as well as the expert judges.

The winner Alexandra Hargreaves, Head of Export at Lick Frozen Yogurt, said:

“It was fantastic to meet – and learn from – fellow finalists and we highly recommend the Export Action Plan to help SMEs take that somewhat intimidating first step towards expanding their businesses internationally.”

It’s a brilliant time to start exporting due to the fall in value of the pound and the interest in UK products and services generated by the government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. Open to Export continues to support UK exporters through the Export Action Plan tool and competition, as well as our webinars, step-by-step guides and ‘Ask the Experts’ forum.

We will be running another series of competitions in early 2017 with another great package of prizes on offer for the future finalists and winners.

Matt Jackson, Managing Director at Lancaster Brewery, summed it up perfectly when telling us:

“Trading globally presents a wealth of opportunities, and the Export Action Plan has been an excellent and easy-to-use resource to get us started.”

Start your action plan today and take your next steps making the most of the world’s demand for UK products.

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