The IoD Lancashire recently held an insightful exporting masterclass in the Ribble Valley. The event focused on how Lancashire businesses can make a success of exporting, both in Europe and beyond. The focal point of the evening was a talk from Playdale’s Managing Director, Barry Leahey MBE, who explained how Playdale has made a success of exporting around the world to countries such as South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Russia.
The venue for the event was the historic Browsholme Hall, sitting in 600 acres of farmland and forest, the 512-year-old hall hosts 72 weddings a year, as well as numerous other private functions, including business events and receptions.
At the event, Barry said: “We manufacture everything in the UK, but we don’t assume this is automatically a sign of quality, so it’s imperative that our products are genuinely good quality, hard wearing and well designed.
“It’s also important that, as an export company, you review your own culture, understand other countries’ cultures and think globally. We specifically invest time in ensuring our staff are comfortable and capable of fielding international enquires and if necessary, are prepared to visit clients around the world.
“Central to our exporting achievement at Playdale, is our systems and process, as well as ensuring we do our research before entering a new market. As part of this research strategy, I would definitely recommend purchasing the UK Department of International Trade’s OMIS report on the country you are targeting.
“At Playdale, we export to 49 countries, a great achievement, but I always say: ‘If we can, you can’. That’s why I am delighted to be an Export Ambassador in the North West, where I try to help companies on their export journey.”
The evening also saw questions taken from a panel, featuring Mandy Lockett, International Business Director at East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Matthew Easter, MD of Trutex and Barry. The panel shared their experiences of travelling internationally on business, as well as some great tips for avoiding some of the challenges and bureaucratic issues.