When you plan to export to a new market, thorough research is vital before making the move, and a good way to gauge a new territory is to visit trade shows there, says Samuel Taylor’s Carl Siviter.
Samuel Taylor Ltd (STL) is one of the UK’s leading suppliers for rail, aerospace, marine, defence and automobile sectors. About 70% of STL’s precision engineering products such as electrical contact rivets and stamped components, end up overseas including countries in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia.
The company, which is based in Redditch, has been exporting since the 1980s, and is still looking to expand its overseas reach, such as moving further into the North American market, according to STL’s sales manager, Carl Siviter.
For companies that are looking to move into new territories, Carl recommends that managers attend trade shows in the country, in order to assess what the local market is like and the potential demand for the company’s products. “If you pick the right show, you can normally get a good feel for what business in the country is like. However, once isn’t enough, I would recommend a couple of times, if you are entering a new territory,” he says.
Carl considers trade shows as a powerful way to increase a company’s profile in a market too. For instance, STL recently attended the Middle East Electricity 2019 EXPO at the World Trade Centre Exhibition in Dubai. “It was the first time we’d been to a show out there and we had a lot of interest,” he says. “STL is already supplying customers in the area, such as Saudi Arabia. We had positive and wide ranging discussions with customers old and new during the three day show.”
“When trying to get business in a new territory,” Carl adds. “The most effective way to do this is often by dealing directly with customers.” While STL use local agents in its more far-flung markets, such as China and Hong Kong, in countries closer to home the company has direct contact with customers. “We often deal with large international companies, so there usually isn’t any cultural or language barriers,” he says. “It is always best to go directly to the country yourself to get to an overall picture of the market.”