DNA chairman, Doug Jackson, has recently completed his latest book, Who Ordered The Battered Cod? This is your guide to exporting – the experiences that await you, the challenges you can overcome and an insight into British companies who are already exporting very successfully. Take a look at the preface here and order your copy today.
Who Ordered The Battered Cod?
Selling things to people in other countries is challenging. People who perhaps don’t speak your language, who have a different culture and who live thousands of miles away. People who could buy the same product or service from their mate just down the road. It’s a tough gig. But it is tremendous fun, and it can transform your business.
This book is aimed at businesses who are considering exporting for the first time and who may be struggling to develop an international strategy and also any organisation that is looking to develop their people and their organisation’s overall efficiency. It is clear that if you wish to export successfully then your business and people need to be in the best possible shape.
Exporting is a bit of a minefield, but after more than 40 years selling and running businesses in an international environment, I know where the mines are laid. I have certainly stood on a few of them along the way, but in identifying those mistakes here, you won’t have to make the same ones.
The book tracks the export process through picking which product to sell; selecting which markets to target; finding the right channel to sell through; promoting the product in a far flung corner of the world, and finally, getting paid. It also explores how you can improve the efficiency of your business prior to embarking on the export journey. But, as we will see, the very act of engaging in international trade can benefit your business effectiveness.
British Exporting Success Stories
I have leavened the mixture with some case studies of UK businesses who have been exporting successfully for a number of years. I met with the CEO’s and asked them how they did it, and what they would do differently now with the benefit of their experiences. They are all businesses with a very British flavour pervading their products and heritage. The power of a UK brand, and the story behind it, is still opening doors and selling products all over the world, and we shall explore how these great businesses have leveraged that to grow their sales line. Sadler’s Ales, Morgan Motors, David Austin Roses, Tyrrell’s Crisps, Chase Vodka, Abraham Moon and Allett Mowers all have exporting stories to tell that can help other businesses to locate the signposts on their own journey into international trade.
Running through the book also is some of the wisdom that I have gained during my long career running businesses. I closed my last book, a memoir called Porridge In The Tallboy, with a final chapter called Silver Linings. This was effectively a ‘wisdom cv’, and in this book I develop some of these themes. I offer some advice for business leaders as they grapple with the day to day pressures of developing and coaching their people and keeping them motivated; there are suggestions as to how they might satisfy their own bosses or shareholders with solid bottom line performance. Also included in the book are a few tips on how to manage your own personal and professional development. If you and your business are to succeed, you need to be at the top of your own game.
Exporting in a time of Brexit
At the time of writing, the country seems obsessed with the process of Brexit. Leaving the European Union does indeed have massive implications for businesses in the UK, large and small. I remain completely sanguine however about UK plc’s ability to handle the change, to roll with the punches, and to adapt to new circumstances. I explore in the book how small and medium sized businesses might approach the brave new world of free trade, continued globalisation and how to engage with supply chains outside the UK.
Irrespective of seismic changes to our trading relationship with Europe, the ever present challenge for a business is to constantly change and re-invent itself in order to grow. My premise in this book is that developing an international strategy, even for quite a small business, provides a fantastic opportunity to grow both your top line sales numbers and to improve your bottom line in terms of profitability. You are then in a position to reap the benefits right across your product and market portfolio, not just in export markets. As one of the CEO’s I interviewed remarked, “If you are successful in the UK with your product, then it is simply not possible that you will not be successful in another market.”
There is therefore no better time than now, as we face the the UK moving to a new international trading nation status, to get your business ready to export. So, fasten your seat belts, set your devices to airplane mode, kick off your shoes and join me on this journey to foreign parts. Without any doubt your business will benefit, and as a bonus, you will have a lot of fun along the way.