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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.
To try to address this issue and help UK businesses prepare themselves properly for some of the complexities of international trade, we created the Export Action Plan tool. We started looking into who’d recently used the tool and started drawing up a list of businesses with great products and coherent plans for exporting them to recommend to the Saint Nick Delivery Company for distribution.
Christopher Kringle – or Kris for short – was delighted with our response and got to back to us with 3 businesses he wanted to be introduced to right away.
First there was Charles Farris, who make candles for the people of London but really want to put themselves on the global map. Charles Farris’ candles went down particularly well with Kris who has long specialised in distributing home comfort products overseas. Christmas is a great time of the year for selling candles, he told us.
The second company he wanted an introduction to was Klik2Learn, a digital design company based in Glasgow specialising in education. Kris said that his company’s major customer base was families and children, but they had previously relied heavily on the toys industry and was looking for new digital solutions to future-proof his business against any potential decline in these sectors.
The third company he was drawn to was Lick Frozen Yogurt, a Brighton-based frozen yogurt brand, famous in its field for opening the first Froyo shop in the UK before developing the world’s only frozen yogurt which is made entirely from yogurt (other brands can only reach a maximum of around 70% yogurt). Kris said he’d been looking to expand his snacks and drinks product roster beyond his usual staples of just oranges and mulled wine, so his eyes must have lit up when he found out about Lick Frozen Yogurt.
We’ve put the three businesses – who also happened to be our Export Action Plan competition winners – in touch with Kris and who knows, maybe these British products will be sitting under trees around the world on Christmas Eve this year.
For now though, we at Open to Export are off for our Christmas holidays. If you have any enquiries you can send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org but we may not get back to you till the start of next year.