Tyrrells Crisps CEO David Milner: Turning British entrepreneurial spirit into success abroad

Milner on getting more British businesses to export

Read Securing Britain’s Ambition online now: London business leaders’ game plan to cement economic growth

My key idea: The UK government wants to double exports to £1 trillion a year by 2020. It also wants 100,000 more British companies exporting by 2020. It can only achieve these goals if successful British brands step up and help small businesses to grow by providing guidance and expertise. Our advice to new exporters is to go out and spend as much time as possible examining the retail aisles, the category, the merchandising, the pricing and competitor activities. This first-hand knowledge will prove invaluable.

Successful British brands need to help small businesses. They must offer inspiration and support if they’re to help them grow in the current economic climate. Growth can often seem daunting for small and medium-sized enterprises, and with the recent government target to increase the number of UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020, the majority of  this pressure is being placed on the shoulders of  smaller businesses. For some, this target can seem a long way off, which is why successful brands need to join forces and offer fellow companies, no matter their sector, the guidance required to get ahead.

Quality at the heart of Britain

British identity is in high demand and British products remain popular the world over. Although this can be attributed, to some extent, to the success of the London Olympic Games, the UK has a strong heritage as a nation of quality brands and products. At Tyrrells, we’ve found offering consumers that quality ‘little piece of Britain’ to be a concept people across the world understand and find appealing – we urge others to consider the same strategy. Quality is at the heart of our proposition and we wholeheartedly encourage other businesses to take the same approach, not just creating the best product, but delivering the best service. We start with the very best raw materials, working with local family farms in Herefordshire to grow and select the best potatoes, while investing in production to create points of difference.

Brand personality

We encourage SMEs and entrepreneurs to be honest and authentic – let your brand personality shine through. It’s important to listen to consumers but also be individual and bold to ensure your brand stands out. Make your business memorable, we’ve used entertaining packaging, PR and digital activities to help us achieve much of  the success we enjoy today.

Look further afield

Consider spreading your business risk and look further afield – you never know where your product niche might be. We, for example, have recently started exporting to Australia, demonstrating that as long as you adopt a clear and relevant brand proposition, it is possible to create a meaningful presence abroad. Our international business now accounts for over 25% of  our turnover, which has significantly impacted on the growth of  our business. We are reaching corners of  the globe we never thought possible.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Our advice to new exporters is to go out and spend as much time as possible examining the retail aisles, understanding the category, merchandising, pricing and competitor activities. This first-hand knowledge will prove absolutely invaluable. There is an incredible entrepreneurial spirit in Britain, one which can help the recovery of the UK economy – let’s help UK businesses continue to fly the flag overseas.

This is an excerpt from LondonLovesBusiness.com’s Securing Britain’s Ambition - read the full publication online now

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Securing Britain's Ambition

SECURING BRITAIN’S AMBITION - London business leaders’ game plan to cement economic growth

Game-changing ideas from Sir Martin Sorrell, Theo Paphitis and many more

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