It’s that crazy time of year again! 3 days of UK London Toy Fair, 3 days of Nurnberg German Toy Fair, 3 days of Birmingham NEC Fair and now 3 days of New York USA Toy Fair – all back to back. Oh and don’t forget the Melbourne Australia Toy Fair in March (just in case I get too comfy!)
It’s all work and no play! Well errhh - no actually. I run the UK company called WOW Toys so quite the contrary! What happens in the 6 weeks from end January through to mid-March shapes the rest of the business year and certainly dictates what toys will be in the stores across the globe this Christmas. These precious weeks also indicate how close to planned budget we will be.
So no time for slacking, got to make sure I have enough shirts, socks and underpants (the ones that say ‘WOW’ on the front) to get through these arduous weeks because one’s feet hardly touch the ground.
So far the WOW UK and International sales teams have had 1 hour meetings with all the major UK retailers (Tesco, John Lewis, Debenhams, Amazon etc) and many of the equivalents in over 55 countries including USA, India, Russia, UAE, Europe, Mexico etc..The bulk of Christmas sales will be done before the end of May.
None of this would be at all possible without the important International Trade Fairs where WOW Toys exhibits each year. Just think of all those many Millions of $ Dollars and € Euros pouring into WOW Toys and making it a stronger business ever more capable of weathering any UK economic downturn. It makes sense. So why do so few SMEs actually export?
I believe there are 2 answers:
1/ the product/service is totally not suitable for foreign trade (weird thing is that I cannot think of anything),
2/ the directors are totally lazy (yes, you read this correctly!).
I firmly believe that if you can have a personal foreign holiday (as 99% of us do) to say Thailand, France or wherever then you can generate foreign sales revenue from these markets too. In truth exporting is little different from booking, planning and travelling abroad on holiday. So I ask myself again – why is it that so few SMEs export?
Perhaps all too many SMEs prefer a staycation! The UKTI is simply excellent and makes getting into exporting easier than any HND course. So if you are not exporting yet and building a more secure and profitable future for your business and its employees what are you waiting for? Take your business on a foreign holiday and have some fun.
Nadim Ednan-Laperouse MBE / CEO - WOW Toys
You can watch Nadim talking about selling toys in over 50 countries here