This week I am sharing a blog written by my FSB colleague Barney Mynott, Development Manager for West Yorkshire.
Importing and exporting is not just for big businesses. FSB research shows one in three small businesses trade internationally. And with the right advice and support even more would do so. Paul Walters from Lime Tree is the Co-ordinator of the Yorkshire FSB International Trade Group, set up to help small business owners involved in international trade to get together and share ideas and experiences.
Paul set up the group because he is passionate about helping UK small business succeed through trading internationally. Paul says, “I want business owners to learn from each other and grow. I know that the world feels more insecure than it has for a long time, but this doesn’t mean we should look inward and fear trading with other countries. There are opportunities out there and I would love small business from Yorkshire to be the ones who make the most of these.”
Paul feels that when considering potential overseas markets a lot of the talk is about the emerging economies of Asia or South America. It is easy to overlook one of our oldest trading partners and the biggest economy in the world, the United States of America. Paul said, “I would like to help business owners think more about the USA so I’ve asked Bev Wills, the Founder and Lead Consultant of Right Direction Ltd, to share his knowledge at a free event I’m organising in Huddersfield on 28 February.”
Bev Wills, from Right Direction Limited, is definitely the right person for Paul to have asked. He has had a long and varied career as the owner and operator of his own businesses in both the UK and USA. He has also worked for American and UK companies at a senior level in both the UK and USA. He is currently the Founder and Lead Consultant for a small family held Business Consultancy, Right Direction Limited, which has just celebrated 20 years of successful operation on both sides of the Pond.
By living and working in America for many years, Bev has developed a real and profound understanding of the business and social cultures of both countries. Bev says, “I want to share some insights into the significant differences, the pitfalls they create and some ideas about what to do, to safely navigate the US environment. This includes location, recruitment and things that you would probably learn the hard way if somebody didn’t point it out first. I would like businesses to avoid some of the problems I encountered and had to solve”.
Yorkshire business are already working across the globe, Paul says, “I know for many the USA may only be one country they are looking to trade with. Therefore I’ve made sure that there will be representatives from the Department of International Trade and Leeds City Region LEP to help you with your international trade - wherever in the world you would like to work”.
The FSB Exporting Workshop, United States - Land of Opportunity, is taking place on Thursday 28 February, from 9 -11 am. It’s sat the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre on Firth Street, Huddersfield, HD1 3BD. It is free to attend but you must book a place.