’’Don’t be apprehensive about entering a foreign market, there is so much opportunity and support out there and I would urge local businesses to seize the day and start seriously considering their export options.’’
WhiteWash Laboratories provides teeth whitening and oral care products, enabling dentists to provide treatment plans for their patients. The business has operated out of its Middlesbrough-based headquarters since 2011, headed up by founder and managing director Tom Riley. Approximately 40 percent of the company’s sales is currently overseas with trading relations already up and running with markets throughout Europe, the Middle East, Australasia and recently Russia.
WhiteWash Laboratories’ Tom Riley said: “Russia seemed like a natural progression for us; as a country there is high demand for luxury goods in what’s a rapidly expanding market, indicating a great deal of long-term potential for us as a business.
He continues: “At the outset it became clear the interested parties liked the kudos of having a UK branded product and this, coupled with our company ethos, which is all about high quality product and attractive packaging, seemed to fit the country’s culture perfectly.
“We are excited to be building on our existing foreign exports and are currently planning a market visit to Brazil and the USA in late September.”
“We had initial reservations about trading with the country; they are tough negotiators but great business people who are after a fair price.
Recommendations for doing business in Russia
“I would recommend that businesses meet interested parties face-to-face, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the business and social culture of Russia.
“There are some great support packages out there from organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce and UKTI to help fund visits.
“Setting up our first trading relationship took around seven months in total but it pays off – you have to put in the time and effort when taking on a new distributor to show your commitment and develop trust.’’
Riley added: “Our website has been a key driver for developing our foreign connections particularly with regards to Russia, so do everything you can to ensure your Google SEO is high.
Don’t be apprehensive about entering a foreign market, there is so much opportunity and support out there and I would urge local businesses to seize the day and start seriously considering their export options.’’