High end retailer Flora Harrison

Member Article

A Hat Trick Of London Businesses Make Finals

Hat trick of London businesses in finals of prestigious national export competition

Haringey-based high end retailer Flora Harrison, Premier Plant Hire in Herne Hill and multi-currency payment processing provider Asperato based in Moorgate are among nine SMEs who have been shortlisted from over 40 companies for Open to Export’s Action Plan Showcase Competition Final.

Flora Harrison, a designer of top quality handbags and footwear, Premier Plant Hire which provides plant equipment, tool hire, storage and maintenance and Asperato, which offers flexible, multi-currency payment integration - will present their plans for international business growth to a panel of expert judges at London Olympia on Thursday 17 November for a chance to win 3k cash as well as a further £4k website redesign courtesy of Yell.

They will showcase the Export Action Plans they created through Open to Export’s innovative digital business planning tool. The competition is part of Going Global - Europe’s biggest exhibition for businesses seeking international expansion which runs across November 17th and 18th.

The London businesses and fellow finalists will be pitching from 12.30 until 16.00 in Open to Export’s area at the show. Runner-up prizes include translation services from SDL Managed Translation, and one year’s free membership of both the Institute of Export and Enterprise Europe

Open to Export is the government funded digital route to boost the UK’s SME exports. The Export Action Plan tool is part of a website dedicated to helping new and inexperienced businesses prepare to sell internationally by giving them unlimited free access to information, support and advice.

Using the Export Action Plan tool allows businesses to take ownership of their international trade strategy and make decisions along each step of their exporting journey - from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers. The Export Action Plan provides support in the form of prompts, useful resources and video and once complete, produces a report summarising answers and actions in an easy to read and shareable format which is perfect for sharing with international trade advisers or banks to better inform export planning conversations.

Said Flora Harrison director, Flora Harrison: “Fully supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, we are taking the necessary steps to start to export to Countries like Japan, France, Italy, USA and South Korea and we’re researching agents, distributors and business partners. Our manufacturers are in place to prepare samples and production orders.

“Trading globally presents a wealth of opportunities, and the Export Action Plan has been an excellent and easy resource to get us started. It’s tremendous to be shortlisted and we’re looking forward to presenting our vision and plan at Going Global.”

Added Sharon Christiaan, compliance officer at Premier Plant Hire: “Having made a name for us in the UK with construction equipment, we developed for environmentally sensitive building sites; we are now looking for American and European companies with whom we can develop these interesting markets with a view to doubling our turnover over the next 3 years.

“We initially contacted 5 companies in USA, when we decided to take our products abroad – four of them invited us for detailed conversations immediately. In my whole career I never met as much enthusiasm as talking to our potential partners in California, Nevada, Georgia and New York” stated Paul Kuebler after organizing a whirlwind tour across those four states starting 20 November 2016.’

Commented Nick Chaffe, Asperato co-founder and director: “In completing the Export Action Plan for Asperato we identified some barriers to overcome as well as our overwhelming readiness to increase uptake of our solution in key overseas markets. The Going Global event and this competition will expedite our knowledge and growth opportunities.”

The competition is sponsored by Bibby Financial Services and Heathrow Airport with high worth prizes from Yell and SDL Managed Translation. The judging panel comprises Ann Attridge – Director of Klik2Learn and previous competition winner, Lesley Batchelor OBE – CEO of Open to Export and Director General of the Institute of Export, Peter Hughes - Head of Procurement Support Services, Heathrow, Julian Hucker – Entrepreneur and Chairman of Open to Export and Phil Tobin – Managing Director of Bibby Financial Services

Lesley Batchelor said: “We are committed to helping inexperienced exporters to broaden their horizons, and this includes regular Export Action Plan competitions to encourage as many small businesses as possible to get the benefits of this terrific tool as well as the chance to win prizes up to £7000. This will ultimately help them achieve their international trade goals.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jeanette Gray .

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