Trading internationally can bring huge reward, but if in unfamiliar territory it can be a daunting prospect.
As a UK Government Export Champion JMB have extensive experience in international trade, both for ourselves and on behalf of our clients.
So to help inspire you to take the plunge and enter new markets or increase your international trade activity here are just some of the reasons why JMB Managing Director, James Blakemore thinks #ExportisGreat.
Why is export so important to JMB?
Export activity accounts for 75% of our business and is vital to our operations.
It not only provides us with a distinct competitive advantage within the UK and international markets, but has given us the ability to capitalise on differing market opportunities; reducing our reliance on the a single markets economic performance alone.
How did JMB get started in Export? What was your ‘lightbulb moment’?
When we established over 10 years ago, our original business plan was to work with UK manufacturing businesses helping them diversify from Automotive into other sectors.
However, within the first 6 months of business a number of overseas clients had approached us to support them in penetrating the UK market. This initial success gave us the confidence to explore the export market further and totally transformed our business model to focus on targeting international clients.
What are the benefits to JMB staff for working at a company that exports?
The opportunity to work with clients from all over the world can be very exciting and rewarding.
Working with global clients gives our team members the opportunity to experience the differing business cultures, whilst working with some of the world’s latest innovations to support them in entering the UK and international markets. And of course there is the added bonus of travelling to countries you may not of otherwise thought to visit.
Apart from the financials, what are the benefits to your company of exporting?
It’s been great travelling the world working with companies from all four corner of the globe. It’s a fantastic feeling to know that I now have friends from all over the world I can catch up with when travelling.
Why don’t more UK companies export?
Fear of the unknown. Exporting for the first time can take you out of your comfort zone.
I think there is also the misconception that exporting might be too difficult. However, in some cases it’s easier than selling to companies in the UK.
How many countries do JMB export to and where?
Currently JMB trade with and export our services to 23 countries, which span across 6 continents.
Countries we export our services to include;
- New Zealand
What are the main export challenges you have had to face?
Slight cultural differences can lead to some initial misunderstanding – however the benefit of visiting the countries you export to is that very early on you get a clear understanding of what these differences are and how you can counteract them.
What was your best export related moment?
This would be when we signed our 1st international client, who was from Spain. We signed the contract at Heathrow airport on his return to Spain.
It was at that moment we knew that we had an added-value service that international companies wanted and needed.
What was your best export related trip? What happened?
Australia and New Zealand – over a two-week period we signed 5 customers.
Do you think that exporting has helped you win business within the domestic market?
Absolutely – Without our export activity we would not have been eligible for the Queens’ Award for Enterprise in International Trade, which we won in 2016.
Although the Award recognises our contribution in the international trade arena, it’s widely recognised by UK companies as a stamp of excellence, which has enabled us to extend our reach within the UK market as a leading B2B sales and lead generation partner.
What one top-tip would you give to someone just starting out in exporting?
Get on a plane and visit the market face-to-face. By meeting partners and potential customers, you will very quickly know if a market is right for you.
As a one of the UK governments champion for export and international trade the JMB Partnership is committed to helping promote export to companies not currently doing so and support them in capitalising on the international opportunities available. Remember, it’s easier than you think!!
If you’d like to learn more about how to generate sales in international markets, let’s talk and see where it may take you.