A couple of weeks ago, I took the opportunity to go out to Los Angeles to visit a client. This resulted in strengthened relationships, increased cultural awareness, and, of course better connections. Is exporting the way forward?
By Mandy Barker
As society seems to becoming increasingly divided, it’s more important than ever to break down physical barriers. International working can bring a lot of benefits and opportunities. We don’t have to see borders or travel as a challenge. Working internationally increases cultural awareness, builds reputation and strengthens opportunities.
Our first international client IWeigh are based in LA. IWeigh was founded by celebrity activist Jameela Jamil; to represent diversity and empower through equal opportunities and representation. Working with big brand partners, they have already had influence on social media policy which has had positive impact. We have rebranded the movement (launch coming soon), and went out to do a workshop with Iweigh on Tone of Voice. As part of this, I went to meet other socially impactful businesses in the city, from festival creators, connectors, to social hubs for start ups. It was a brilliant trip with lots of ongoing conversation, we would recommend!
Advice on exporting
Get support. The Department for International Trade provide support and help to identify markets and establish a local presence.
Do your research
Who do you want to work with? Introduce yourself and grab a coffee! Try and have an action plan before you go, so you are not just wandering around aimlessly. Think about logistics of where you are staying vs your meetings and think about how you are going to get around.
Ask for connections
Ask if any of your contacts know of anyone or businesses where you are visiting – you’d be surprised how connected you can be just from this.
Create a plan
Think about the value you will bring, research organisations and businesses you align with and go for lots of coffee.
Have a budget set aside
Funding is available, but you’ll still have to invest using your own funds. Plan to save.
Don’t expect results on the first trip
I expect the journey of Sail exporting to be a work in progress, as we build relationship and our portfolio. Be patient.
See the sites
Don’t forget to soak up some of the sights too, it would be rude not to.