TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS:
We design and manufacture equestrian simulators. Our products are used primarily for rider training; this might be for teaching beginners, or individuals who have never ridden before (and therefore slightly apprehensive), through to advanced level, for example, riders training for the Olympics or other professional events and competitions. We typically sell to equestrian schools and colleges, depending on the discipline, but also to private individuals. Most of the products that we make are sold outside of the UK.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU FIRST START TRADING WITH A COMMONWEALTH COUNTRY?
Probably over 20 years ago. We export most of the simulators that we build, all over the world. In most cases we sell direct, so often a sale will arise from direct communication with the customer; this might be someone (or a group) who we’ve met at a trade show or through our website or word of mouth – often via social media.
WHAT IMPACT / BENEFITS HAS TRADING WITH THE COMMONWEALTH HAD ON YOUR BUSINESS?
Probably the ease of doing business. Logistically trade routes are fairly straight forward and whilst we outsource this part of the job we ultimately need to be fairly involved in order to communicate with the customer. This is important to us because we are a small team with limited resource, so following a straightforward process is much more efficient.
WHAT DIFFICULTIES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME?
Nothing stands out to be honest. Trade in the commonwealth represents a sizeable chunk of business to us but most is still to the ‘rest of world’. We send our products to be professionally packed and crated before our shipping agent arranges collection and shipping. The administration is largely outsourced to a firm we’ve been working with for over 5 years now and this makes the entire process much easier so we can concentrate on building simulators.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TOP TIPS TO A BUSINESS THAT'S LOOKING TO TRADE IN THE COMMONWEALTH?
Make yourselves aware of any rule changes or legislation that you need to be aware of for your sector. If you are sending physical goods, ensure you have good trustworthy partners when it comes to the actual logistics and the paperwork that is required when exporting.