Advice on going global

Microsoft Small Business was a guest of Enterprise Nation at the Going Global conference on Tuesday this week - listening to amazing line-up of speakers and panellists sharing their wisdom and experience.

Over 130 people packed out the room to listen to some inspiring tales, which also included major fails and problems encountered, which were probably just as useful as the sucessful stories. Here's a quick run-down of the stand-out speakers and thoughts.

  • If you're not exporting already, your competitors will be. You're missing a trick, because the emerging markets offer huge, huge opportunities.
  • Here's something really horredous from the BBC's Declan Curry (On the Money, Show Me The Money): we currently sell more to N Ireland than we do to Brazil, India and China COMBINED. 
  • Etiquette, gifts, behaviour are all really important - never give clocks as presents to the Chinese for example, since it implies 'For attending to your dying parents' .... (Advice on etiquetted and more, on the DTI website.  Giving a watch is OK btw.
  • 90% of eBay sellers sel internationally
  • Australia is the 2nd biggest market on eBay (think seasonal variations - if you're selling cold weather goods here in the UK - their winter is our summer. Russia is also huge.
  • Europe is a declining market
  • You don't have to travel to go global: Kate from Bog In a Bag, doesn't - her company (backed by Dragon's Den investment from Theo Paphitis) uses agents and distributors.
  • If you're selling off your website make sure it's mobile-friendly. M-commerce is MASSIVE (up from 600k around 2-3 years ago, to around 5 billion).
  • Names are important! Bog in a bag doesn't translate outside of the UK. was orginally Pleasure Cards..... Richard Moross, the company founder, was especiall

And finally, and this won't be news to anyone but it's worth repeating because it was a key point yesterday and was evident in the nature of those presenting - Business is all about relationships: establishing, nurturing and building them. Richard Moross, company founder, was eloquent on this point and clearly demonstrated his commitment to building trusted relationships with his staff. Success to him comprises People, Product and Brand.



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