This morning with Brexit showing no signs of leaving the headlines Mike Fox (President) introduced Tony Goodman MBE Marketing Advisor at Forest & Co.
Tony is a specialist in exporting goods across the globe for a range of businesses.
He started by saying: The first question is, what does Brexit mean for us all?!
He went on to say; “Regardless of Brexit why should we be exporting?”
Over 200 years ago David Ricardo wrote the theory on comparative advantage, published back in 1870 which is still the basis of international trade for today.
But what has that got to do with today?
In summary, by each party having a specialist advantage (in the 1870’s David was talking about England and Portugal) they were able to trade with each other.
Expanding beyond the theory, the EU is in uncertain times, but with or without Brexit there is still logic to selling to the EU.
Tony went on to give some examples on how trade can work. He works with one company who sell luxury chocolates. Tony was able to facilitate them securing a customer in the USA, by working with them to complete the appropriate paperwork, which he said only took an hour or two of his time to complete the online US registration forms. Whereas he went on to say that when securing a supermarket in the UK to be a distributer he had 10 times more paperwork!
He has also worked with another company selling premium crisps and popcorn and they now sell to over 38 countries, South Korea, China and Japan being just some. They didn’t need to visit these countries, but did attend export events which are held in the EU to build those relationships.
Tony said that the definition of exporting is “selling”.
He emphasised that there is a lot of support out there to allow companies to export their products. Working with the Department of trade and working with the local embassy contacts to help to communicate with local distributors is key.
The Queens official birthday is also cause for every British embassy within most countries to throw a party, which is likely to include a large network of buyers attending.
Another stat is that Holland export 80% over their GDP, many businesses have got out of the habit of exporting as there is a perception that it is too expensive and too difficult.
The starting point is to find the right distributor in the county you want to work with to open doors for you.
You might be asking but how can this apply to you and your business? Start with Ireland or Gibraltar as they love British’s products and both are local. Gibraltar have 11 million visitors a year who go there to shop!
Many countries in the world see British products as being premium. You don’t have to go far to find countries that will want to buy your products.
Tony finished by saying; “Remember the number one advantage we have in this country is the English language, it is the most valuable asset we have.”
Mike Fox President of the chamber introduced Angela from Prevent Breast Cancer to remind everyone that they will be painting Altrincham Pink again.
Prevent Breast Cancer is the only charity in the UK dedicated entirely to the prevention and detection of cancer. The charity is 23 years old based in the Nightingale centre at Wythenshawe, for which they raised £2 million towards the building.
Fundraising is vital only 3% of cancer research UK goes into prevention. Last year was the launch of Paint Altrincham Pink and 70 businesses took part and raised £12,000 over the one week. Fund raising activities included wearing pink days, bake sales etc
The Paint Altrincham Pink week takes place from Sunday 24th February to Sunday 3rd March.
Two big events already planned include; Timperley sports club on the 23rd are hosting a race night and on the 24th February the Manchester Storm hockey team will be hosting a pink night (including the players wearing pink).
Raffle draw: Dinner for two – Sam Peterson from IO Power
Forth coming events – Chamber mixer next Thursday at Bistro Pierre with speaker John Whitehead
New Year Members lunch and AGM takes place on Friday 1st February, followed with speaker, Sir Graham Brady at the Belmore.