Posted: Thu 16th Oct 2014
One of the UK's most notable entrepreneurs, Rob Law is the founder and CEO of Trunki, the popular ride-on hand luggage suitcase for children.
The company has won over 50 product and design awards and sold more than 1.3 million suitcases in 1,564 stores in 96 countries, through retailers including John Lewis, Harrods and Next. In 2012, on the company's sixth birthday, Trunki brought production back to Britain.
Enterprise Nation hosted a webinar with Rob, which was filled with wisdom and years of trading experience. You can listen to that chat below:
Trunki founder Rob Law's top tips for growing a successful business overseas
Enter competitions! Rob came up with the idea for Trunki while studying at university and entered a competition with a local retailer that needed some inspiration.
Validate your idea. Look for gaps in the market and find issues that your product or service can resolve.
Don't underestimate the power of branding. Make it clear, compelling and understandable to people across borders.
Don't let setbacks get you down. You'll face hardships when working with overseas manufacturers and distributors, but you can lessen the risk by taking the time to research and take note of recommendations.
Look everywhere for funding. Friends and family are a popular source of income – Rob turned to his gran for seed funding!
Make sure your distributors know their stuff. Ask them to show you a marketing proposal on how they intend to get your brand and product to a local demographic, and go into relationships with agents with open eyes. If you fire an agent in Europe, you have to recompense them for what they would earn over the next two years!
Get a strategy in place. Talk to government agency UKTI as they can help with research and may also be able to help fund your visits to overseas trade shows
Don't think it's too pricey to manufacture in Britain. When manufacturing abroad, there will be import duties, shipping costs and lengthy lead times. So it's becoming much more cost-effective to keep production at home. Be sure to weigh up the pros and cons.
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